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Next Challenge for Ravens: No Bye After London Trip

Head Coach John Harbaugh

After a successful trip to London, the Ravens don't have a bye in Week 7, but hope to overcome that challenge.

Baltimore (4-2) will host the Lions (5-1) on Sunday, who are riding a four-game winning streak and playing as well as any team in the NFL.

Teams returning from London and playing without a bye have fared well recently, and the Ravens hope to continue that trend. Both the Bills and Jaguars won in Week 6 after playing Week 5 in London. Since 2016, teams returning from London have gone 9-4 when playing the following week.

The Ravens opted not to have a bye following the London trip, with their bye instead coming later in the season during Week 13.

"We didn't really want to have a bye too early," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "They gave us the late bye and an early game in London. We like the later bye. We're playing the Lions which it turns out, arguably is the best team in the NFC. Playing great football. So that's where we're at."

The players had a long flight home following Sunday's 24-16 victory over the Titans and were given Monday off. However, they'll be back at the Under Armour Performance Center on Tuesday, and are ready to put the London trip behind them.

"We're going to get back to business as usual," Harbaugh said. "We're going to try to get back on schedule. I think coming this way is kind of a good thing. You're used to getting up. We'll be back at it tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon with our guys. They'll get a chance to sleep all day today (Monday) if they want, get a good night's rest tonight."

Harbaugh Discusses Red Zone Woes Against Titans

The Ravens have struggled in the red zone the past two weeks and were 1-for-6 against Tennessee. Harbaugh gave credit to the Titans, who have an excellent defensive front and made it difficult for the Ravens to run with success near the goal line. However, he also wants to see Baltimore do a better job of countering the defense.

"We were running into some big fronts there, we tried to spread them out, they didn't cooperate as much in terms of spreading out," Harbaugh said. "They did a good job, they're a very good front, they've got some very physical players. They're a physical, tough run defense. We're going to see as, or more, this week against the Lions. We're going to have to do a great job of game-planning all across the field."

Keaton Mitchell Could Join Backfield Rotation Moving Forward

Rookie running back Keaton Mitchell saw his first action of the season against the Titans, but played strictly on special teams and did not have a carry.

Harbaugh did not rule out Mitchell earning a future role in the offense as part of the running back rotation with Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. Mitchell has breakaway speed and averaged 6.0 yards per carry during the preseason.

"Absolutely, he's going to be active now possibly, he's got to earn it every week," Harbaugh said. "He played well on special teams, and he's done a good job in practice on offense the last two weeks. So, I'm sure that [Offensive Coordinator] Todd [Monken] will be looking for opportunities to get him the ball."

Harbaugh Envisions Ravens Departing Early Again on Next International Trip

The Ravens aren't sure when they'll make their next trip abroad, but Harbaugh anticipates they will leave early in the week again whenever it happens. Players said that arriving in London on Monday instead of later in the week gave them more time to get acclimated and perform better by game time.

"Wisdom is in the results, right?," Harbaugh said. "That's part of it, but I also feel like, to really answer your question, yes, it helped us. It helped to be out there, to get acclimated and to get the bodies right.

"People go to the Olympics, and the Olympics are somewhere on the other side of the world. They don't go out there two days before the game, so just looking back on it, in hindsight, it was the right thing to do. The next time we go, we'll probably do the same thing."

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