The Ravens' bye in Week 13 comes at an opportune time for Ronnie Stanley.
The starting left tackle made a rapid return to action against the Chargers in Week 12, missing just one game after suffering a knee injury Week 10 against the Browns. However, Stanley did not have his best game during Baltimore's 20-10 victory on Sunday Night Football, allowing a team-high six pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. He was also flagged for two penalties.
Stanley wants to be playing his best football when the Ravens make their playoff push in the final five games. Head Coach John Harbaugh is thankful the bye week will give Stanley more time to get stronger and healthier.
"I do think that it's going to be beneficial for him," Harbaugh said. "It's not been great. I think he'd probably be the first to tell you it's not been great. He needs to get stronger and get his technique right. He's a great player, we want to get him back to playing at that high level."
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken credited Stanley for returning to the lineup at less than 100 percent. Stanley also suffered a knee injury earlier in the season opener and missed three games before returning Week 5 against the Steelers.
"Credit to him, he's tried to work through it and come back for the team," Monken said. "Certainly, he would probably say it's not at where his knee wants to be. But he continues to work through it. Each week he's getting stronger and he continues to fight through it. I give him a lot of credit for being out there and continuing to play."
Justin Tucker Felt Rushed on Missed Field Goal
The most shocking moment of Sunday night's game was Justin Tucker's fourth-quarter miss from 44 yards out, which would have given Baltimore a six-point lead.
It was Tucker's first miss from inside 50 yards this season. Over his career, Tucker has only missed 16 times on 342 attempts from within 50. That's a 95% success rate.
Harbaugh said the administration of the play clock was different than normal and threw the Ravens' operation somewhat, and that Tucker felt rushed before his miss.
"Tuck is Tuck. He was rushed on all those field goals the whole game," Harbaugh said. "I'm not making excuses for him. He would never accept that. He'll tell you he has to make them under any circumstance. We couldn't afford to call a timeout there. I don't know why the clock was running so fast and why they didn't administer it the way they normally do.
"It's just a miss. He's human. I'm sure glad we've got him. Always will be."
Tucker now has five missed field goals this season with five regular-season games left. He had six misses last year and didn't have more than four in the previous six seasons.
Special Teams Coordinator Chris Horton said there is no pattern to Tucker's misses and he's not worried about it moving forward. Tucker's miss knocked him out of the top spot as the most accurate kicker of all-time. That distinction is now held by Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo at 90% exactly. Tucker is at 89.93%.
Why Zay Flowers Didn't Take a Knee on Long Touchdown
Zay Flowers' 37-yard jet sweep touchdown was thrilling, but the game would have been over earlier if the rookie went down short of the end zone.
A few defensive players made remarks Sunday night about wishing they didn't have to go back out and take the field for the Chargers' final series, and on Monday, Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken confirmed that Flowers should've gone down.
"That's all on me," Monken said. "We were doing so much of the quarterback-driven [runs] that in my mind, we were so far out that I wasn't even thinking about it at the time [that he could score]. You're really trying to talk about ball security.
"That would have ended the game right there. Then we wouldn't have had to see another silly touchdown celebration [laughs]. That would have saved us all."
Harbaugh Gives Players the Whole Week Off
Harbaugh said Ravens coaches will work through the week doing self-scouting and looking for any tweaks to their schemes.
Harbaugh said the staff already has a list of things to improve on, though he wasn't interested in sharing what that list specifically entails.
The players, meanwhile, will get the full week off. They haven't always done it that way, as players are required by the League to get only Thursday, Friday and the weekend off, but Harbaugh decided to give them the full week off after the win.
"It's kind of moved that way the last couple years. Bye weeks have gotten shorter compared to what they used to be," Harbaugh said.
"It seemed like the right thing. We're 12 weeks into the regular season, so I don't think we would have gained as much from practicing as much as we would from resting, basically. Let the guys get away and kind of regroup physically, even spiritually a little bit, and heal up and get ready for what's ahead."