The Ravens' 32-point win over the Detroit Lions injected plenty of positive vibes into Baltimore, but Head Coach John Harbaugh's message to his team isn't changing.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson and other players were low-key following the big win, and Harbaugh was asked Monday about what that says about his team.
"It says they're right where they should be," Harbaugh said. "Because how many games have we played so far? Seven. That means we've got 10 more in the regular season. I'd say we have a lot of work to do."
There's no denying that the Ravens' victory, in which they put it all together for the first time on offense and continued their defensive dominance, is a confidence booster. It showed what the Ravens are capable of.
"Success does breed success," Harbaugh said. "Real confidence is based on having proven to yourself that you can actually do it. It's one thing to believe in yourself and know the potential is there. It's another thing to get out there and sink a shot and know that you can."
Tight end Mark Andrews said Sunday that it was time for the Ravens to "separate." That's what they did against the Lions, proving they're ready to take the next step from near misses and "would've, could've, should'ves" to a consistent powerhouse.
But that level of execution is difficult to maintain. In a wild week-to-week league, the Ravens know they must focus on still getting better.
The Lions had only one loss heading into Sunday's game in Baltimore. The Ravens' next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, have just one win. Harbaugh was asked about amping his team up to play Arizona.
"I shouldn't have to," he said. "All you have to do is watch the tape and you see how physical they are, how tough they are, how competitive they are as a team.
"If we have anybody on our team that doesn't understand how the NFL works, I'd be really disappointed. That's something that would really be disappointing. And I don't think I'm going to be disappointed that way."
Harbaugh Puts No Stock Into Travel Fatigue
There was plenty of talk last week about the Ravens declining taking a bye after their London trip. Clearly, the move paid off and didn't take a physical toll.
Now the Ravens will be back on the road going the other way West to Arizona. The team will depart Friday to give themselves a little extra time to acclimate to another time-zone change in the other direction.
Will the Ravens have travel fatigue?
"It's all a state of mind," Harbaugh said. "It's real if you make it real. … Our guys will be ready to roll Sunday."
Avoiding Fumbles Remains Point of Emphasis
Baltimore has lost seven fumbles in seven games, tied for second-most in the NFL behind the Vikings, who have lost nine.
The Ravens faltered Sunday after scoring touchdowns on their first four drives, when Lamar Jackson and Justice Hill had a botched exchange that resulted in a lost fumble. It was Baltimore's only turnover during a 38-6 victory over the Lions, but Jackson was not happy about it, slamming his helmet down after he returned to the sideline.
Harbaugh understood Jackson's frustration. Baltimore's offense includes a heavy dose of run-pass option plays that require precise ballhandling between Jackson and running backs. Sunday wasn't the first hiccup this season between Jackson and Hill at the mesh point, and working to eliminate fumbles will continue to be a point of emphasis.
"It's been a different problem with each one, and it is a thing they need to work on," Harbaugh said. "We have a lot of ballhandling in our offense, more than most teams, it's probably going to show up a little more than other teams. But that just means we have to be that much better at it, much more aware of it.
"We want perfection in that area. That's why he was so upset, we all were. I was just as upset, because that's not something we want to have. We want to be perfect in that area."
Harbaugh on Keaton Mitchell, Tyus Bowser Injuries
Harbaugh gave an update on rookie running back Keaton Mitchell (hamstring),[comma] who saw his first action on offense against the Colts. Mitchell showed his speed,[comma] scampering for a 9-yard run on an inside toss from Jackson that was officially scored as a completed pass. However, Mitchell was limited to two snaps before his injury, which robbed him of a chance for more playing time.
Harbaugh does not expect Mitchell's absence to be long-term.
"It's not a severe hamstring, it will be week-to-week," Harbaugh said. "Outside chance for this week, more possible for next week."
Harbaugh said there was no update on outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (knee),[comma] who has spent the season on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List.
"No resolution yet," Harbaugh said.
Arthur Maulet Shines With Team-High Eight Tackles
Veteran cornerback Arthur Maulet saw his most extensive action of the season against the Colts and made the most of it, playing a season-high 60 defensive snaps (80%). Maulet was second on the team with seven tackles, including a sack when he timed his blitz perfectly from the slot to take down quarterback Jared Goff from the blindside.
Maulet was signed at the start of training camp and suffered a hamstring injury that set him back for several weeks. However, his playing time has steadily increased in recent games and Harbaugh was impressed by his impact against Detroit.
"Very productive game by Arthur, no question about it," Harbaugh said. "He was all over the field. I told him this, 'Dude, you're getting a little gassed at the end.' He's playing special teams, too. He was in on a lot of plays, blitzed, got a sack. He was really productive, great to see. I think he's really fitting in well with the defense."