Knowing They Need to Get on a Roll, Ravens Say 'Why Not Us?'


A win in Tennessee would have been big for the Ravens' playoff chances.

But after a bitter 23-20 defeat in which the Ravens shot themselves in the foot with mistakes, Baltimore still finds itself in the mix – albeit with more ground to make up – for reaching the playoffs.

That was the message from Head Coach John Harbaugh to his players after the game.

"We were hoping to win this game and gain some momentum going into the bye week and come out healthy, but it doesn't change anything," Harbaugh said.

"It just means we got to win one more game in the second half than we would have had, had we won this game. We've got to get on a roll."

The question is whether the Ravens, who have lost five of their last seven games, can rip off enough wins. They need five wins in seven remaining games to get to 9-7 and six in seven to reach 10-6. In the muddled AFC, 10 wins could guarantee a spot and nine may also work.

The Ravens have four remaining home games (Texans, Lions, Colts, Bengals), all against teams that currently have three wins (one fewer than the Ravens). If Baltimore can win out at home, it needs one or two road victories.

Baltimore's road games are at Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Packers, who face the Lions tonight on Monday Night Football, have lost both games since Aaron Rodgers broke his collar bone.

"I feel like we have to win out and that is the goal," safety Eric Weddle said. "Let the run happen and let the story be about us and the magical run that we had. Why can't it be us?"

Of course, the Ravens have issues to fix if they're going to be that team, and they'll dig into what those solutions are over the bye.

Simple rest will help, as Baltimore had 16 players on the injury report last week and should get injured running back Danny Woodhead back soon. A detailed self-scout and likely tweaked plans going forward also offer promise.

Baltimore's defense has played very well overall, but allowed a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive in Tennessee that short-circuited momentum for a comeback win.

"We got to get this [stuff] fixed or we're going to be on the outside looking in again," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said.

But the biggest problem is clear. The passing game has been mired in a season-long funk and ranks 31st in the NFL. The Ravens have averaged just more than 15 points per game in their five losses.

"You can't play too much worse than we've been playing, and we've obviously still been in a lot of football games," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "We're not going to get everything corrected overnight, but we are making progress."

In 2008, the Ravens won five of their last six regular-season games. In 2010 and 2011, they won six of their final seven. In 2014, Baltimore won five of its last seven after back-to-back losses to division rivals. The Ravens have needed rallies before and pulled them off.

"I've been in this league long enough; you know anything can happen coming down the stretch," Flacco said. "Things can start clicking for you. But we need to win football games and we need to make it happen on our side of the ball."

Check out all the best photos from Tennessee as the Ravens battle the Titans.

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