A decimated Baltimore Ravens team suffered what would be a truly frustrating loss on the road to the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. The 41-21 loss launched Cincinnati into the lead for the AFC North Division.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow shredded Baltimore’s depleted defense to the tune of 525 passing yards. It was a humiliating loss to say the least. However, after the game Ravens head coach John Harbaugh vowed to keep fighting.
“We’re going to focus on the last two [games of the season], see what we can get accomplished these last two games and see if we can work our way into the playoffs. That’s what we’ll be fighting for, and I’m excited about that opportunity. We’re going to do everything we can to make that happen,” Harbaugh said on Sunday.
At 8-7, the Ravens where once the fourth seed but now find themselves outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff race. The Bengals climbed to the No. 3 seed with Sunday’s win. That’s how volatile the AFC playoff picture has been going down the stretch.
The Ravens have two games left in the season starting with a home game against the Los Angeles Rams followed by a visit from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati has a clash with the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs at home followed by a road trip to face the Cleveland Browns in the regular season finale.
Currently, Baltimore has the same record (8-7) as the Miami Dolphins who hold the final seed in the playoffs. The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers also hold an 8-7 record and are ahead of the Ravens due to tiebreakers.
“There is still hope for the Ravens despite their four game losing streak,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “We know what’s at stake. We’ve got two really big games, like you said. We’ve been fighting— we’ve been working. There’s been some really good ball being played. Two games left— [we’ll] give it all we have.
“This whole year has been just one thing after another. But there’s one thing that remains true— is that we continue to fight. We continue to have resiliency, and I think that starts from Coach Harbaugh. Coach Harbaugh is someone that preaches that each and every day. No matter what happens to us, no matter what’s thrown at us, we’ve just got to keep on fighting, and that’s what we do.”
Things have been difficult for the Ravens from the start. They’ve dealt with injuries to their top two running backs in J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Top cornerback Marlon Humphrey among others, were lost for the year.
Lamar Jackson has missed multiple games. Then there’s the extensive list of players that have lost time due to being place on the Reserve-COVID list.
Yet the Ravens continue to press forward. That’s the mindset that Baltimore will have in these last couple of games.
“It’s been nothing new this whole season. It’s just been one thing after another,” linebacker Patrick Queen said. “We’ve just been preparing. We’ve been working, we’ve been preparing, we’ve got faith in the guys that we got— because everybody that we’ve got right now is all we need. We’ve got faith in each other. We’ve just got to go out there and perform.”