Sunday’s 21-0 shutout at the Tennessee Titans coupled with Cincinnati’s 28-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers means the Ravens are tied with the Bengals for the top spot in the AFC North with 4-2 records.
After wrapping up a three-game road trip with two wins, the Ravens can look forward to playing four of their next five games at M&T Bank Stadium — beginning with Sunday’s game against the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints. It’s a comforting position, coach John Harbaugh said Monday afternoon.
“We’re in a good place,” he said. “Not as good as we could be, but you can’t look back and lament that. You’ve got to move forward, and we’re happy to be at where we’re at. We’ve got to make the most of it. Like [outside linebacker] Terrell Suggs said in the locker room last night, winning a game like that on the road doesn’t mean nearly as much if you can’t follow it up. You’ve got to back it up with another win.
“What you need to do in the NFL is stack wins. You need to find a way to get on a roll, and you do that by getting better every single day — all the things we always talk about — and going out there and playing good, winning football on Sunday. That’s all our focus needs to be. If we can stack a win on top of that win, then it really starts to mean something. But a huge challenge — whether you’re on the road or at home playing against the Saints. I’m glad we’re going to be at home. I’m excited that our fans get a chance to see us and get to be a part of it.”
There’s certainly much for the players and coaches to be pleased with from their dominant performance in Tennessee. The defense pitched its 14th shutout, which ranks as the most in the NFL since the franchise’s start in 1996. The 51 passing yards were the fewest allowed in franchise history, and the 106 total yards were the second fewest.
But Harbaugh argued there was plenty for the team to review from Sunday’s game and even quoted a line from Rudyard Kipling’s “If—.”
“It’s never as good as you think, and it’s never as bad as you think, and when you go back and watch a game like that, sometimes you’re a little bit surprised by what you see in terms of, there’s more negatives than you remember,” he said. “So you get in there and you go to work, and that’s it. There’s an old poem. Meet triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same. … To me, that’s the approach. So yeah, you look for every single thing that needs to be corrected, and you try to chase perfection.”