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Joe Flacco: Turn Scoreboards Off


Quarterback Joe Flacco seemed relieved that the Chiefs and Chargers weren't going to be playing until 4 p.m Sunday.

The Ravens' regular-season finale against Cleveland would be over by then. No need to worry about the temptation to scoreboard watch.

That was until Flacco found out from reporters that the game is actually a 1 p.m. kickoff. Yes, the game that decides half of the Ravens' playoff equation will be running concurrently. 

"Turn the scoreboards off, I guess," Flacco said. "There's nothing we can really do about that game so we shouldn't be really worried about it."

In order to get into the playoffs, the Ravens need to beat the Browns and the Chiefs beat the Chargers (there are also some tie scenarios).

It's a similar situation to the one the Ravens were in last year.

Baltimore needed to win in Week 17 against the Bengals and have the Dolphins lose, too. Miami did lose, but the Ravens didn't hold up their end of the bargain, falling in Cincinnati, 34-17.

"We were in this situation last year, and I don't think we responded or played very well," Flacco said. "So I'd be disappointed to see us do the same thing again. We just need to worry about what we can do."

Still, human instincts kick in. It's nearly impossible to ignore the other scores.

On Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated that the Ravens will be showing the scores of the other games in the stadium bowl, just like any other week.

"I'm sure they'll flash the score up there; I'm sure we'll see it," Harbaugh said. "It'll be a matter of doing this [turns his head and looks up], 'OK, what's the score?' But we're not going to be immersed in any other game. That's a recipe for disaster. We will be wholly and fully engaged in the task at hand."

Wide receiver Torrey Smith isn't kidding himself. He's interested in that Chiefs-Chargers game.

"You're doggone right I'll be watching that," Smith said. "Every punt, I'm looking over there. If we score a touchdown, I'm looking to see if the Chargers scored a touchdown. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't going to be watching that scoreboard like a hawk."

The Chargers have been a major thorn in the Ravens' side this season. They battled back from 14 points down to beat Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium in the final minutes, 34-33. Had the Ravens won that game, they'd already have their playoff ticket punched.

Then, last Sunday, San Diego rallied from a 21-point deficit to knock off the San Francisco 49ers and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Had the 49ers held on for that win, the Ravens would still control their playoff destiny and only need to beat the Browns to get in.

Smith said he doesn't like to root for other players to fail, but this week, he's making an exception.

"A great quarterback like Philip Rivers, I hope he throws an interception every time," Smith said. "You don't want to be that guy [rooting against players], but, hey, we want in."

Smith said he does have some connections on the Chiefs who he would call to give some encouraging words to, but he won't be picking up the phone. After all, the Chiefs need the Ravens to lose to get into the playoffs themselves.

"It's a weird love/hate situation we have with them right now," Smith said.

Harbaugh's mentor from his Philadelphia days is Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, but Harbaugh said he isn't going to be giving him a call.

"This probably wouldn't be the week," Harbaugh said. "[I'm going to] just let him go ahead and do his business. We have our business to do; he has his business to do. But I'm definitely cheering for him, no question."

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