Doug Kapustin / MCT
December 22, 2013
The Ravens are coming off of a debacle of a loss against the New England Patriots, a 41-7 setback that cost them control of their playoff future and stands as the most lopsided loss of the John Harbaugh era.
The Ravens have a history, though, of bouncing back from lopsided losses, winning all nine games following double-digit loses under Harbaugh.
Earlier this season, the Ravens were routed, 49-27, by the Denver Broncos, only to win the following week over the Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens need a win over the Bengals on Sunday combined with either a Miami Dolphins loss to the New York Jets or a San Diego Chargers loss to the Kansas City Chiefs to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. They could also lose and sneak into the posteason under a more complicated scenario.
"I think that's part of who we are," Harbaugh said of the Ravens' resilience. "If you've been watching us all year, you would know that. You would understand that about us. It's a one-game season, as far as we're concerned."
The Ravens' roster is expected to change again, regardless of whether they make the playoffs, but probably not as dramatically as it did last season, when general manager Ozzie Newsome overhauled the roster.
With the team dealing with a tight salary cap, though, it's likely that the Ravens won't retain the majority of their unrestricted free agents.
If the Ravens don't qualify for the playoffs Sunday, this game could mark the last time this group plays together.
"It's the reality of the business," said strong safety James Ihedigbo, a pending unrestricted free agent who ranks second on the team with 91 tackles and has two interceptions and two forced fumbles. "Our focus is on this game. We're not thinking about, `What if we lose?' Our mentality is to win this game. All that other stuff will be handled when the time comes."