Whenever you're mentioned in the record books with Vince Lombardi, you know you're doing something right.
With their 19th-straight preseason win Saturday night in Carolina, 20-3, the Ravens tied Lombardi's Green Bay Packers of 1959-1962 for the longest preseason streak in NFL history.
The last time the Ravens lost a preseason game was in 2015 – six years ago. Baltimore will have a chance to break the record next Saturday at FedExField against the Washington Football Team.
Head Coach John Harbaugh knows some will scoff and say the streak means nothing. But he also knows that's a bunch of hogwash.
"I mean, there are going to be people that say this doesn't mean anything, and there are going to be people who look at it and say, 'Wow, that's something.' So, I think everything is something. I'm of the belief that everything has meaning in life," Harbaugh said.
"So, I guess you can take two things; nothing has meaning, and everything has meaning. So, if we're doing it, it's worth doing, it matters and it's worth doing well."
Veteran safety Chuck Clark said a few players knew about the streak heading into the game, and Harbaugh made an announcement about it afterward in the locker room.
"We celebrated and cherished that moment," Clark said. "But [even though] we're in the record books right now, we've just got to go keep doing more and keep being better as a team."
"Now we just go into the next one trying to beat the record," linebacker Malik Harrison said.
Of course, the Ravens know a preseason winning streak doesn't hold the same weight as such regular-season feats. Sure, they don't technically count for anything. But they are definitely an indication of something.
"It's a good feeling, just because you could see the type of culture that we have as a team, as an organization," quarterback Tyler Huntley said. "We strive to win every time we step on the field, and it just shows you how much depth, as a team, that we have – just to keep rolling out wins in the preseason."
Winning anything in the NFL isn't easy and learning how to do it matters.
Winning takes discipline, like the discipline the Ravens showed Saturday night when they were flagged for just one penalty all night. Winning takes minimizing mistakes, something the Ravens struggled with early when Huntley's first pass was intercepted and tight end Josh Oliver fumbled inside the red zone. But when mistakes happen, winning takes overcoming them, like safety DeShon Elliott's goal-line stop from the 1-yard line.
Winning takes everybody, like key plays from depth players. The Ravens often play their starters less than their opponents, as they did Saturday night when Lamar Jackson took the night off and Panthers starting quarterback Sam Darnold suited up. Baltimore's top wide receivers and top tight end, Mark Andrews, didn't play Saturday either.
Much of preseason games are backups vs. backups, and the Ravens have rallied or run over teams late in preseason games when backups – or even the backups to the backups – are playing. In the second half of Saturday's game, the Ravens' ground game rumbled for 125 yards and punched in two touchdowns. The defense allowed zero first downs and 18 total yards.
Winning is earned. The Ravens don't gameplan for these preseason games, but their preseason wins are an indication of how Harbaugh gets his team prepared and hardened during training camp.
Winning is contagious. Just look at the Ravens' 10-3 record in Week 1 games since Harbaugh took over in 2008, including a streak of five straight.
There have been a lot of players involved in the Ravens' 19-game winning streak. Off the top of his head, Harbaugh referenced Josh Woodrum, the backup quarterback with a great story who captured Baltimore's heart with his inspired preseason play in 2017 and 2018.
"All those guys that were part of [the streak] over those years should be proud about that tonight, because it's something that only one other team has ever done – the Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers," Harbaugh said. "I'd say that's notable."