Steelers Loss Was Harbaugh’s Toughest

John Harbaugh said Sunday’s Steelers loss was the hardest he’s experienced as a Raven.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy, Week 13 vs Steelers

Every loss in the NFL is difficult, but Sunday’s 13-10 heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers weighed heavily on the shoulders of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh.
 
The fact that the Ravens squandered a fourth-quarter lead with an opportunity to take control of the AFC North and seize a No. 1 or 2 seed in the playoffs hurt.  That pain was amplified by a team Harbaugh called the Ravens’ “archrival” last week.
 
“It’s probably the toughest loss that I’ve experienced here and that this team has experienced here since we’ve been here,” Harbaugh said on Monday.  “Our guys really took it hard.  I don’t think anybody slept too well last night or for very long. 
 
“It was just one of those football games.  It was a hard-nosed football game.  It was a hard-fought football game.  I give the Steelers credit for finding a way to win the football game.  It’s disappointing for us because it was such an opportunity that we’ve probably lost in terms of putting ourselves in a position to control our destiny for that seed.  But those goals are still out there for us.”
 
At 8-4, the Ravens are still among the AFC’s leaders, even if they are now behind the Steelers in their own division.
 
According to Harbaugh, one overarching positive to come out of Week 13 was the effort Baltimore gave.
 
“The thing I was really pleased with more than anything — if you think back and you get the emotions and you brush them aside a little bit – was the effort involved,” said Harbaugh.  “Our players played so hard and so physical.  That was a physical, physical football game on both sides of the ball.  And our guys were dishing it out and taking it and getting after it.”
 
One area where the Ravens must improve is protecting late leads.
 
As hard as they fought, the Ravens relinquished their sixth fourth-quarter lead of the year.  They were beaten in four of those games. 
 
“We’ve closed out some games this year, but we’ve also not closed out some games,” said Harbaugh.  “I think if you look at all of our games, we don’t ever get blown out by anybody, do we? We’ve got a bunch of guys that know how to fight, and so when we do lose, and we lose close ones.  That’s not closing out.
 
“I’m disappointed in the four games we lost that we didn’t close them out. We’ve got to find a way to get that done in the next four weeks.”

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