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John Harbaugh Confident Ravens Can Fix Mistakes And Start Winning Again


When Head Coach John Harbaugh looks at his team, he still sees a lot of promise.

Yes, the Ravens are on a three-game losing streak. Yes, their 3-0 start that left them solely atop the AFC North as the calendar turned from September to October, has evaporated.

But Harbaugh stands confident in the fact that the Ravens can fix their mistakes because those mistakes start with them.

"The thing that I'm most excited about is that our problems are easily correctable," Harbaugh said Monday.

"It's not like we are sitting here thinking, 'We don't have the players to do this. We don't have this guy or that guy, or we can't stop anybody.' We don't have those kinds of issues. Our issues are self-inflicted. If they are self-inflicted, we can fix them. We fix them ourselves."

Coming off a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants, Harbaugh outlined two primary issues that have led to the three-game losing streak: big plays allowed and penalties.

In Week 3 versus Oakland, the Ravens gave up four touchdowns, including a game-winning 23-yard catch by Michael Crabtree on a double move. In Week 4 versus Washington, Baltimore surrendered an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown. In Week 5 against the New York Giants, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. scored 75- and 66-yard touchdowns.

"It's the same thing that happened the first eight games last year that we got corrected," Harbaugh said Monday. "It's not going to continue to happen, and those guys that allow it to happen are not going to be out there."

The Ravens are tied for the most penalties called against them in the NFL (59). They had 15 for 111 yards in New York. Harbaugh said the penalties are the "biggest issue we have on offense."

"I think the question was asked, 'Why are we bogged down?' It's because of that," Harbaugh said. "We're sitting there at first-and-20. It will continue to be addressed, and it will get corrected, because you have to play winning football. You can't lose the game if you want to win the game."

The Ravens have chased down and fixed other problems that plagued them in their first three wins. They have gotten the rushing attack on track. They had markedly better special teams coverage Sunday against the New York Giants.

Now they'll attack the two issues that have lingered.

"We will keep just pounding away at the things we have to do better and the things we have to eliminate from our football [team] to play winning football," Harbaugh said. "No matter how long it takes us in practice, or no matter who it takes us to do it with, we're going to continue to do that. We're going to get that done."

Taking a look around the league, it's easy to see that just about every team has problems. At 3-3, the Ravens are still just one game out of the AFC North division lead, and one game up on the Cincinnati Bengals, who have lost four of the last five.

"Put yourself in any other city, and ask yourself what article you would be writing. It would be three or four cities that everyone thinks things are great. There will be about 28 cities where everyone will be wringing their hands," Harbaugh said.

"We are one of the 28 right now. I am not wringing my hands, because I know what kind of players we have. I know what kind of coaches we have. I know what kind of league this is. This is a long season."

There's a part of the Ravens that is mad they don't have a better record. Despite an uncommon rash of injuries to key players, they could have beaten the Giants. The losses to the Redskins and Raiders were definitely avoidable as well.

But looking back isn't doing the Ravens any good now.

"It's a lot of tough games and a long road ahead," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "We've got to stay as confident as we can and we've got to move forward and just keep our head down. Our division is still up for grabs, and a lot of things are, so we got to keep fighting and do our best to win games."

"The biggest thing for us is, we're 3-3 and everything is right there for us," safety Eric Weddle added. "But, if we don't take advantage of the situation and look at yourself first, you're going to waste this opportunity."

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