Momentum Is A Crazy Thing


Go back to last year, when the Ravens had dropped three straight games and were suddenly in danger of losing their grip on a playoff spot.

In one game, it all changed.

The Ravens manhandled the Giants, 33-14, at home in Week 16. They rested their starters the next week, then went on a four-game run to Super Bowl victory.

As Head Coach John Harbaugh said on Monday, "momentum is a crazy thing."

A return to the Super Bowl – or just the playoffs – seems further out of reach the past three weeks in Baltimore. But despite their troubles, and knowing that there's a lot to fix, the Ravens still feel they are one breakout away – similar to last year.

"Any one of these games can be the one where it finally clicks for us and we start playing like we know we can," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We're just holding onto that."

Some outsiders labeled last week's game in Cleveland as a make-or-break game, or the classic "must win."

Well, the Ravens didn't win and they're still just two games out of a wild-card spot and 2.5 behind the division-leading Bengals with eight games to play. Even Sunday's game against the Bengals isn't a do-or-die situation.

"It won't end our season mathematically," Harbaugh said. "In the playoffs it is win or go home. In the regular season, it's win or lose and play next week.

"We have a sense of urgency, but we always do. It's not like the sense of urgency is heightened. … We're kind of in a corner, but you're always in a corner."

The difference this year is the Ravens have never been backed into that corner so early.

"At that point [last year] we had nine wins under our belt also," Suggs pointed out.

"We've got to start knocking them down. You let too many of these games go, then you're on the other side of your destiny or your dreams. You don't want to do that. You don't want to be on the outside looking in of the looking glass and you need help from other teams to get in. You want to handle your own business."

So how do the Ravens plan to break the slump? Keep doing what they've been doing.

"Losing stinks, but you've just got to attack it like you do anything else," guard Marshal Yanda said. "You've got to attack your technique, your fundamentals and keep doing your job as a team. You don't want to think outside the box too much on what you have to focus on, and that's doing your job at a high level."

Safety James Ihedigbo talked about the faith and trust the players need to keep in each other when there is so much criticism. They're making it a point to encourage each other. The Ravens are focusing on themselves, looking within and continuing to work to solve their problems.

"Media, you guys can write us off. Fans tend to abandon the team," Ihedigbo said. "When it's all said and done, the outcome is what the outcome is. People will see when it's all said and done where we stand."

This Sunday against the Bengals presents the next opportunity to turn it around.

"We're at M&T [Bank Stadium]," Suggs said. "There's not a better team or week to get this thing rolling than this one."

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