In 2009, the Ravens began the year with three straight wins. They followed it up with three straight losses.
Baltimore is facing the possibility of a repeat Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Ravens have dropped two straight, and are feeling the urgency to avoid zeroing out their quick start.
Back in 2009, the rest of the year was a back-and-forth grind that left them at 9-7. They still got in the playoffs, but they were in a must-win situation in Week 17.
The Ravens feel like they have a good enough team to avoid that kind of season, but they need to start proving it this week.
"We are itching for a 'W,'" outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said.
"When you lose, everything is bad. The food is bad; everything is bad. We need to get a 'W,' and we need one now. They are coming off [three] losses. There is only going to be one winner come Sunday, and we want it to be us."
Yes, the Giants are also desperate. After starting with back-to-back wins, they've dropped three straight. Often, pundits say the team that* *wants it more will win. In this case, it's tough to say who needs a victory more.
"I don't care about the Giants, honestly," wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "We both want to get in the win column. We lost the last two; they lost the last three. There is a sense of urgency on both sides."
Wallace was asked if it's too early to call Sunday's contest a must-win game.
"I think so," Wallace said. "But at the same time, we need to win."
The Ravens still find themselves in good position in the AFC. If the season ended today, they would be in the playoffs. They're just one game behind the conference's leaders at 4-1 (Patriots, Steelers, Raiders).
Considering the Ravens were in good position to beat the Raiders and Redskins the last two weeks, it says something about the strength of Baltimore's team.
"The sky isn't falling, but we know we have to get better to reach our ultimate goal," safety Eric Weddle said. "We are going to right this ship and get back on track by any means. We are just excited to get back out there and get the bad taste out of our mouth."
The hope now is to get the offense playing better (and eliminate special teams mistakes) to complement what has been a dominant defense so far this season. The Ravens changed offensive coordinators this week to do just that.
"There's a big urgency," tight end Dennis Pitta said. "When you see somebody go, you see somebody essentially get fired, it lights a fire under everybody."