The Ravens are red hot.
After commanding victories over the Falcons and Buccaneers in back-to-back weeks, the Ravens (5-2) are suddenly sitting atop the AFC North with a critical game looming against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Winning by at least three touchdowns in consecutive games has the Ravens creeping back into the national conversation, but Head Coach John Harbaugh isn't interested in celebrating anything right now.
"We have a lot of football left to play, and we're not a good enough football team right now to accomplish the things that we plan on accomplishing," he said Monday. "The ball is in our court and we need to go get that done."
The Ravens have made noticeable strides in recent games – they currently rank in the NFL's top 10 in points scored and points allowed – and they seem to be getting into a groove.
But fortunes in the NFL can change in a hurry, and Harbaugh stressed the message of continued improvement to his team after Sunday's 29-7 victory over the Falcons.
"We have talked a lot about that," he said. "This is our beginning. Next week will be the beginning, and the week after that will be the beginning, and we start from where we're at."
Several key players echoed Harbaugh's message after Sunday's victory, as veteran pass rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil both said, "we're just getting started."
The Ravens hope that the recent success against NFC South teams will carry into the critical AFC North matchups the next two weeks. The Raven travel to Cincinnati this week with a chance to build upon their division lead, and they follow that up with a primetime game against the Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 9.
Over those next two games, the Ravens have a chance to give themselves some cushion in the division race, or they could fall into a position where they have to fight from behind to get back in the mix.
Harbaugh is eager to see how his team handles that challenge.
"We'll learn where we stand after the nine-game mark of the season," Harbaugh said. "That's what we'll find out. And that's going to be very interesting. I'm looking forward to finding that out. It's a big deal."