The Ravens have started strong in each of the last three games.
In losses to the New York Jets and Giants the last two weeks, they have jumped out to 10-0 leads before allowing their opponents to climb back in the game and ultimately win. In a Week 5 defeat to the Washington Redskins, the Ravens lost an early 7-0 lead.
As the Ravens discussed what happened in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Jets, Head Coach John Harbaugh emphasized that his team needs to do a better job of putting teams away when they have the lead.
"Killer instinct is executing when you get ahead, putting people away and making plays, taking advantage of the fact that they're down. Whatever killer instinct translates to, we certainly don't have it right now," Harbaugh said. "It's not just this group, it's been every single game for the last four weeks that we've lost."
The problems can't just be pinned on any specific person or group.
Against the Jets, the defense allowed a short pass to wide receiver Quincy Enunwa over the middle to turn into a 69-yard touchdown where he outran the entire secondary.
The previous week, the offense went into a rut after scoring on its first two possessions. Penalties and missed opportunities kept them from adding to their two-score lead, and the Giants ultimately found their way back into the contest after an 80-yard touchdown drive before halftime.
"We've jumped out to a lead and we give them an easy touchdown to get back in the game," Harbaugh said. "That's got to be fixed."
Players also stressed the importance of playing with more urgency after jumping out to an early lead.
"We've been up 10-0 the last couple of games, and instead of extending the lead, they get a big play or they make a play happen, whatever happens, and now they're back in the game and they get momentum," safety Eric Weddle said. "We need to push that lead to 17-0, 24-0, and then we're running away in the second half. That's what we're trying to build. It's not going to happen overnight."
Finding that killer instinct is just one issue the Ravens are out to fix over the bye week. They are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, the longest of Harbaugh's tenure, and they have problems to fix in just about all aspects.
As the Ravens seek ways to turn their season around, players are hopeful that they will learn lessons from their current struggles that will pay dividends late in the year.
'We've been in some tough situations that I believe will make this team stronger mentally and a give us a toughness factor that late in the season, November, December, we're going to be able to recall these situations and it's going to help us," Weddle said.