And yet, with all those flaws, the Ravens still have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs, and they know from recent experience that once that happens, they'll get a much-needed clean slate.

"Right now, what we're chasing is trying to get back to 0-0," Rice said. "If I know [this] group, the group that's going to show up on Sunday is going to fight to the last whistle until it's all over. … You're probably not going to see anybody happy or smiling right now just because the situation that we're in."

Rice said this week that he plans to re-dedicate himself this offseason to make sure he regains his old form as one of the NFL's top all-purpose threats. A number of other Ravens, however, have been reluctant to discuss their futures with a potential playoff berth still out there to be won.

The Ravens could have as many as 13 unrestricted free agents, including one of their top playmakers (Jacoby Jones), all three of their tight ends, both of their starting offensive tackles and their top two tacklers (Daryl Smith and James Ihedigbo).

Several other long-time Ravens could be in jeopardy, as well, because of their high salary cap numbers.

But those are decisions that will be made well into the offseason. The Ravens aren't quite ready for that offseason to begin, and have one more opportunity to prove that they are playoff worthy.

"We have unfinished business as a unit together," said tight end Ed Dickson, one of the would-be free agents. "For me, I have to play the best football I've played all season just to do my job and help us win the game. You talk about a one-game season, this is ultimately a one-game season."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel contributed to this article