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Ravens looking to play spoiler role once again

The Baltimore Ravens won't be playing in the postseason, but they are trying to disrupt the path of as many division foes as possible.

Last week, the Ravens put a huge dent in the Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff hopes by beating their rival. This week, they will attempt to ensure the Cincinnati Bengals don't earn a first-round bye -- Cincy needs a win and a Denver loss to get the bye.

"We're definitely going out to ruin anything they've got going on," cornerback Jimmy Smith said, via the team's official website.

Baltimore players have downplayed their possible spoiler role in recent weeks, as they've played three straight against playoff contenders. For most in Baltimore, having little to play for at the end of the season is new territory -- it's the first losing season in John Harbaugh's tenure.

"Spoiler? That's a great question," linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. "This is my first time, so I really don't know how to answer that question. We'll see. Like I said all along, we will finish strong, and we will finish. You can book it, you can count on that -- however you want to categorize it. We will finish strong."

Credit Harbaugh and his staff for keeping a team decimated by injuries competitive in nearly every contest this season.

"It says a lot about our players," Harbaugh said. "I wouldn't even for one second think that that would happen with our guys. We have a lot of character. We have really good leadership in the locker room."

Sunday they will try to ensure the Bengals can't rest during the first week of the playoffs, likely forcing AJ McCarron to start a playoff game while Andy Dalton continues to rehab from a broken thumb.

Ruining another squad's season isn't the dream scenario for any team, but the Ravens have played the spoiler role well so far.

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