News & Notes: Ravens Not Counting on Playoff Help, But Could Aid Their Rivals

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The Ravens didn't get any playoff help this weekend, but they aren't looking for any either.

After beating the Jets on Thursday night, Baltimore could secure a first-round bye if either the New England Patriots or Kansas City Chiefs lost one of their final three games.

On the first weekend, both teams steamrolled their opponents, leaving the Ravens (12-2) still one game ahead of the Patriots (11-3) and two up on the Chiefs (10-4). The Patriots still have games against the Bills (10-4) and Dolphins (3-11), and the Chiefs face the Bears (7-7) and Chargers (5-9).

"We expect to have to do it ourselves. You're not sitting there counting on anybody to do anything for you," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

"We plan on winning both of the next two games. That's how we're going to be working and approaching it. That's really our job is to go out there and earn whatever we get."

The Ravens would lock up the AFC's top seed if they beat the Browns in Cleveland this Sunday. Beyond those high stakes, it's also a chance for the Ravens to avenge their last loss, when the Browns left M&T Bank Stadium with a 40-25 victory on Sept. 29.

Steelers fans will be rooting for the Ravens to win this weekend and clinch the No. 1 seed. If there are no Week 17 playoff implications, the Ravens could rest Lamar Jackson and other starters against their rival Steelers. Pittsburgh is trying to hold onto the final spot in the playoffs and is tied with the Tennessee Titans at 8-6.

"Of course, I think about [resting players], but no plans have been made," Harbaugh said. "I'll just decide that when the time comes. Like I said, we're not there. When we get there, we'll be there, and we'll go from there."

Kickoff Touchbacks Aren't As Easy as You Think

The Ravens' troubles on kickoff coverage Thursday night against the New York Jets had armchair special teams coaches clamoring for Baltimore to just kick touchbacks.

Why cover the kick when you can just boom it through the end zone and let the opponent start at the 25-yard line?

"Just look at the numbers, it's hard to kick it out," Harbaugh said. "The ball is colder. It doesn't carry the same. The field isn't quite as firm. If it was that easy, we would have done it."

Cleaning up the special teams mistakes from Thursday night's win against the Jets will be a high priority this week for Baltimore.

No Update on Ronnie Stanley, Chris Board Concussions

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley and linebacker/special teams ace Chris Board did not play against the Jets, and Harbaugh did not have any update to provide after a long weekend off.

"They're under protocol still, so we'll see where they're at," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh gave the team off from Friday through Monday. They'll be back in Tuesday afternoon to begin their normal schedule.

"It's definitely a positive for us – for any team," Harbaugh said. "It's a plus to get a little bit of time to get healed up and get rested up a little bit. We'll have to come back and get sharp and make sure we practice really well, and just get ready to play the game on Sunday."

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