Baltimore Ravens

What's next? Ravens say team won't splinter apart despite losing skid

CLEVELAND — Mired in a three-game losing streak and nowhere close to resembling their Super Bowl championship form, the Ravens continue skidding further downward.

Have they found rock bottom with half their schedule remaining or is there a lower depth the Ravens haven't reached yet?


Their latest setback was a 24-18 loss to the Browns on Sunday, where an 11-game winning streak over the Browns ended.

Although the Ravens' problems are numerous -- including a stumbling running game, porous pass protection, an inconsistent passing game led by Super Bowl Most Valuable Player quarterback Joe Flacco, a defense dealing with communication issues and special-teams units prone to errors -- at least they haven't resorted to pointing fingers.


And Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty predicted Sunday that the team will stick together despite its degenerating play on the field.

"I don't think this football team is going to splinter off," Canty said while heading out of the locker room Sunday night. "When you work hard together, it's hard to break that up. I'm not really worried about this football team splintering off. We just have to continue to find answers to the problems that we're having and be able to close football games the way we need to."

Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, a Pro Bowl selection last season who scored two touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers, acknowledged this team isn't even close to reaching last season's level of play.

"We're not playing Ravens football right now, we're not being ourselves," Jones said. "We got to get back to being ourselves. All we can do is go up, fix it and get back on track."

Like Canty, Jones is convinced the issues afflicting the team doesn't stem from a lack of chemistry.

"We're going to ride or die no matter what," Jones said. "Ups and downs, we're going to stick together. We'll never turn our back on each other. That's not the Ravens' way."

A lack of effort isn't the problem, said Canty, who played on Super Bowl winners with the New York Giants.

"This is one of the hardest-working football teams I've ever been on," he said. "It's just frustrating to not reap the rewards of that hard work. We've got to go back to the drawing board and take advantage of those opportunities and rise up in those special circumstances that we have and make the plays we need to make.

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"We just got to find a way to win a game. That's what it comes down to. We had our opportunities, we had our moments. We didn't make the plays and they did. In an NFL game, it usually comes down to five or six plays. Toward the end there, we had our opportunities but we weren't able to get off the field and get our offense the ball back."

Flacco has completed 59.4 percent of his throws for 2,167 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 79.3 passer rating. He's been sacked 25 times, putting him on pace to be sacked 50 times for the season.

"It's not easy on Sundays when you're going out there and it's tough sledding and you're not getting the job done," Flacco said. "Having said that, you get back to work, put your head down and look forward to the next one.

"You've got to be positive, you have to keep your head down and your eyes forward and that's what we're going to do. You have to stare it right in the face and just meet it. It's obviously a little frustrating on Sundays and we just have to continue to work."

Where does this struggling football team go from here?

"We've got to keep fighting and stay focused and stay faithful," strong safety James Ihedigbo said. "More than ever in the midst of everything, we got to stick together and stay close."