The Baltimore Ravens have managed to weather the storms that came early in the season and enter the bye week with a 6-3 record. The Ravens find themselves on top of the AFC North coming out of the bye week courtesy of a three-game win streak.
The bye week could be viewed as a stopper to the momentum that the Ravens have established, but that’s not the mindset Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is taking.
“That’s not going to be a problem,” Harbaugh said. “The season, it starts right back up again. It’s not like we’ve been gone for a month. We get a little bit of rest, and we get right back at it. We just have to go play our best game on Sunday, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Baltimore’s staff got the opportunity to self-scout during the bye week. The coaching staff took time to search for things that did well and find ways to replicate it in the coming games. They also combed through film to find tendencies and identify things they didn’t do well.
The time off from game planning gave the coaches a chance to evaluate players as well. Are they doing enough to get players in position to make plays? Are the players maximizing opportunities when they are put in position to make things happen? Those are the things the coaching staff considered over the past week.
This week they’ll face the Carolina Panthers who coincidentally have old friend and former Cleveland Browns quarterback, Baker Mayfield, as the starter.
“Sure, [and] I’m sure it helps him [Baker Mayfield],” Harbaugh said when asked if there’s familiarity advantages. “He’s had history with us, as well. So, [I have] a lot of respect for Baker Mayfield. We’ve had some incredible battles with him when he was with the Browns – some great games. We know what he’s capable of doing, we understand his strengths as a quarterback, and we’re going to have to do everything we can do to stop those things.”
The bye week gave some of the Ravens players a chance to rest up as well. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been in and out of the lineup. Not playing gave his ankle relief from the pounding that happens in practices and games.