Sense Of Urgency Heightened For Ravens


The Ravens aren't shying away from the importance of Sunday's matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

During Wednesday's session with the media, several reporters reminded players that the Ravens are 0-2 for the first time in a decade and the franchise has never opened the season with three straight losses.

"It definitely adds a little bit of urgency," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "Whether it should or shouldn't [add urgency], it probably does a little bit, just because it doesn't feel good to be in a hole, 0-2."

The Ravens are the only active team in the NFL to never start a season 0-3, according to ESPN Stats and Information. For a franchise with a winning history and Super Bowl aspirations entering the season, finding themselves in this situation is far from what they expected.

"It weighs on us," defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. "The only way we're going to get that weight off of us is with a W."

A home matchup with a divisional rival now presents an opportunity to right the ship and get right back into mix.

"You can easily dig yourself out [of a hole] or dig yourself deeper," tight end Crockett Gillmore said. "We're just going to work. We're going to do whatever we need to do to get a win on Sunday."

Despite the disappointing start to the season, the Ravens aren't making drastic changes to how they approach Sunday's game. Adding pressure or going through a massive overhaul would be counter to what the Ravens have done throughout Head Coach John Harbaugh's tenue, where the Ravens have made the playoffs six of the last seven seasons.

"We all understand the situation," Harbaugh said. "Until you win your first game, you always have in the back of your mind, can we win a game? Of course you can, but you've got to win one. And every game is a fight. So, you've just got to take it one week at a time, one play at a time and play the best we can and try to find a way to win."

The Ravens have gone through similar rough patches in previous years. They lost three games in a row in 2012 before eventually going on to win Super Bowl XLVII. They also lost three games in a row in 2008, including a 28-point loss to the Colts, before bouncing back and advancing to the AFC championship.

"We've overcome it," Harbaugh said. "But we've never done it at the beginning of the season, so I think it feels a lot tougher."

A common theme from the players and the coaching staff is they have the personnel in place to bounce back from the early struggles. The team has shown flashes the first two weeks – the defense was great in the opener and the offense thrived in Week 2 – and they are realistically two plays away from being undefeated.

But coming close and getting the job done are vastly different, and the Ravens understand they have their work cut out for them to get their record back on track.

"At the end of the day, that's what it is all about, is actually being good enough to do it," Flacco said. "Right now, we think we're good enough to do it. I believe we are, and that's what I'm saying – we've just got to go prove that over the course of the season."

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