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Ravens Have Been Here Before

Posted Dec 27, 2013

The Ravens have previously gone into Cincinnati needing a win and come out victorious.

The Ravens are familiar with their current predicament.

They know what it’s like to go into Cincinnati the final week of the season needing a win for playoff position. That was the case two years ago, when the Ravens capped off the regular season with a matchup in Cincinnati that served as an AFC North championship.

The Ravens won that game, 24-16, and earned a first-round playoff bye as a result.

“We’re battle-tested,” running back Ray Rice said. “That’s the thing – we take pride in being battle-tested. Last week was last week. If I know the group that’s going to show up on Sunday, the group that’s going to show up on Sunday is going to fight until the last whistle until it’s all over.”

The biggest difference in 2011 was that the Ravens had already clinched a playoff berth before the game, and both teams were fighting for the division title.

This year the Bengals have wrapped up the division, and Baltimore’s playoff fate is still in jeopardy.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say we like being in this situation,” tight end Ed Dickson said. “You always want to set yourself up during the season to be in the very best spot that you can going into the playoffs. But pick your head up, this is where we are, and everyone on this team does a great job of not looking at the scenarios and saying that we have one game to play.”

Sunday will be the fourth time in a row that the Ravens have finished the regular season against the Bengals, and the third straight time at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens have gone 2-1 in those meetings, with their only loss coming last season when they had already won the division and rested most of the starters.

In 2010, the Ravens finished the regular season against the Bengals in Baltimore. That game also had significant playoffs implications, as the Ravens had already clinched at least a wild-card spot but needed to beat Cincinnati for a chance to win the division over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens won, 13-7, but the Steelers also won that day and ended up as the division champs.

While most recent season finales have been against the Bengals, the Ravens also played a win-and-get-in game against the Oakland Raiders in the final game of 2009. The Ravens won that game, 21-13, giving them the AFC’s No. 6 seed.

Right tackle Michael Oher pointed to that game as an example of the Ravens having success in must-win games to get to the playoffs.

“We can handle it,” Oher said. “I believe we thrive in tough situations.”

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