As the Baltimore Ravens enter the last few weeks of the regular season, they have their sights set on the postseason. But the playoffs are not guaranteed for the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
The Ravens are heading into Week 14 with a 6-6 record, currently holding the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. After Sunday’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1), the Ravens hit the road for a Monday Night Football game against the Detroit Lions (7-5), then return for their last home game in Week 16 against the New England Patriots (9-3) before finishing the regular season against division rival and current leader of the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4).
The Ravens struggled early in the season, going 3-4 before a Week 8 bye. After a great deal of frustration, the Ravens hit their stride and have begun to turn the the season around.
“I think what we’ve been through has made us who we are right now,” head coach John Harbaugh told reporters. “I like to think it has made us strong emotionally and mentally. I think our hard work has made us strong physically. We want to be at our strongest right now.”
The Ravens have overcome many obstacles this season, one of the biggest being replacing tight end Dennis Pitta. The fourth-year veteran underwent hip surgery after an injury sustained in the early days of training camp. The Ravens announced on Saturday that Pitta has been placed on the active roster and could play as early as this Sunday.
With Pitta back in the lineup, the Ravens’ offense will benefit greatly. The team is still two games behind the Bengals, but there is plenty of time for that to change and one of those opportunities is against the Bengals themselves.
“The fact of the matter is, what matters is us,” Harbaugh stated. “We just have to win. If we win games, things are going to work out for us. If we don’t, things are going to be tough. That’s what we have to take care of; we have to take care of ourselves.”