Despite Loss, Playoff Hunt Still At Stake

The Ravens must move on from their loss to maintain their standing in the playoff race.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

The Ravens may have temporarily relinquished control of the AFC North with a 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they have a lot of fighting in front of them with a playoff hunt still at stake.

At 8-4, the Ravens are well within the realm of achieving a wild-card berth and still within reach to taking the division crown. To keep those goals within reach, Baltimore wants to quickly move forward.

“You can’t gloat after a win and you can’t be in the tank or think your season’s ruined after a loss,” said Ravens cornerback Chris Carr after the Steelers game.  “So I think a lot of people, tonight, are going to be thinking about it. And some people will lose some sleep over this one.

“But we have a while till we play on Monday night. By the time people wake up on Tuesday they’re going to be fine and be over it and watching film on our next opponent.”

The Ravens have the Houston Texans (5-7) up next on their schedule, followed by the defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints and spunky Cleveland Browns.  The cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Bengals close out Baltimore’s season.

Meanwhile, the Steelers have the Bengals (2-10), AFC East-leading New York Jets (9-2), putrid Carolina Panthers (1-11) and Browns (5-7) left.

While the Ravens know they need to take care of their own business, the reality is that they also need Pittsburgh to drop one game against either the Bengals or the Browns in order to climb back into the driver’s seat of the division.  Baltimore’s Week 2 loss to the Bengals means they have a lesser division record compared to Pittsburgh, meaning the Steelers own the tiebreaker.

Otherwise, the Ravens would benefit if they won out and the Steelers lost twice.

Sunday’s defeat marked a chip in their bid for the No. 1 or 2 seed in the AFC, and without an AFC North title, a 5th or 6th seed is the best the Ravens can do.  The Jets, Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) and Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) are leading their respective divisions.

“We have to get past this,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said.  “We have to win some games and move ahead.”

Traveling to Houston’s Reliant Stadium, where the Texans are 3-3, for a Monday-night contest, the Ravens will have a nationally-televised opportunity to right their ship.

“We’re going to move on because if we let this get to us, not only can we lose the division, but we can still slip farther down the line and not make the playoffs at all,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.  “But, we’re going to move on.”

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