With a 1-8 record, the Carolina Panthers haven't been mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the NFC playoffs, but chances are slim.
And with the Panthers hoping that rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen can recover from a concussion enough so that fellow rookie Tony Pike doesn't have to start Sunday against the Ravens, those prospects have grown even dimmer.
But Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he doesn't think the players will overlook Carolina."I don't think you need to remind them of that," Harbaugh said. "I think you're right, they know it. We have to win this game if we want to accomplish what we want to accomplish as a football team. That's motivation enough. Plus, we understand the team we're going against – and we say it every week – and so often people kind of say, 'Well …' … I don't know what their response is sometimes, but these are good football teams we're playing. Look at Carolina on tape. Look at their offensive line. Look at their running backs. Look at the people they have at wide receiver. Look at their defense and the way they run to the ball. You know, they haven't found ways to win games, but they're playing very good football, and they're capable of winning a football game in this league. That's been proven time and time again with the people we've played already. We have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a tough football game down there, and that's what we're preparing for. I know you guys say, 'Well, coach has got to say that.' Well, yeah, but we say it because we believe it, because it's going to be a big challenge. And that's what we've got to get done."