Schedule suggests there’s shot
Final series of games might play to postseason favor if Ravens can get act straight
As they left the locker room Wednesday afternoon and headed their separate ways for what remained of the team’s bye week, Ravens players maintained that they were already looking ahead. That view was more encouraging than looking back on the first seven weeks.
After a 2-0 start, the Ravens lost five of seven games and rarely resembled a team that has earned a right to call itself a playoff contender. Yet, a cursory look at the standings, along with the Ravens’ schedule over the final seven games, suggests that while they may not currently pass the eye test as a playoff-caliber team, they are very much in the postseason mix.
Regardless of what happens in today’s games, the Ravens (4-5) won’t lose too much ground among a mass of mediocrity in the AFC playoff picture. Three of the four division leaders — the New England TV: Radio: Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, have six wins. Beyond those conference favorites, three other teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, coleaders in the AFC South, have five wins. Four other teams are sitting on four wins. “We’re right there,” Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “If we want it, we can take it. It’s right there. But we just have to go out and be aggressive, and just know that we can win these games.”
A few weeks ago, Ravens coach John Harbaugh expressed the belief that the team would probably need 10 wins to secure its second postseason berth since the 2012 season. Reminded earlier this week about his prediction, Harbaugh didn’t double down on the call.
“I am hoping whatever we get is going to be enough,” he said. “We are in it. There is no doubt about it, we are in it.”
To reach 10 wins, the Ravens are going to have to go 6-1 the rest of the way. Even the most optimistic Ravens fan would be hard pressed to project that for a team that hasn’t won back-to-back games since early September. However, a 5-2 finish and a final 9-7 regular-season record, which may or may