The Ravens know they have a much-needed bye week right around the corner.
They will get some rest and recovery time after Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets, but first they have a critical assignment at MetLife Stadium. The Ravens are in the midst of a three-game losing skid after starting the season 3-0, and they are determined to go into the bye week on a high note.
"You never want to go into a bye on a losing streak, or a loss, because that's a long time before your next game, a lot of time to think about yourself and what you can do," safety Eric Weddle said. "You always want to have some momentum, some confidence, going into the bye and going into the second half of the season."
The Ravens have a thin margin of error after dropping three straight games. They are currently still in the thick of the AFC playoff picture, but a loss to the 1-5 Jets would be a tough blow.
"It's a pivotal point in our season," Weddle said. "With our team, a win would be big right now, not just because of the bye – we can get some guys back health-wise, and get above .500."
Players regularly talk about the bye week coming at the "perfect time," but that line particularly rings true this year.
They have a roster decimated with injuries, including to star players such as quarterback Joe Flacco, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. They have 13 players on the injury report this week, and they might not even have enough healthy players to fill the 46-man gameday roster.
None of the current injuries are considered to be season-ending at this point, so the Ravens hope the week of rest would give them time to get healthy before the Week 9 showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We need it," linebacker Albert McClellan said. "We're getting close to that point of the season where everybody is banged up. We just really need like that extra week to recoup and get ready for the second half of the year. We're ready for this bye week."
Going into the bye after a win would be a totally different feeling compared to four-game losing streak. The Ravens haven't lost four-straight games since 2007.
"With four losses in a row, you'd be trying to figure out really what's going on, what we really need to do," McClellan said. "How? Why? And what is the reason we can't win? Snapping this losing streak would be a big plus going into the bye week."