That's not how coach John Harbaugh sees them, though, telling scribes and media types on Monday that removing his team from the playoff conversation is a vast mistake.
"I'm focused on the game, getting ready to play the game," said Harbaugh. "All the critics, I'm dead to them. ... Let's go win a football game."
Harbaugh came across Sunday as a revived, energized coach after watching run-first rookie passer Lamar Jackson lash Cincinnati with a ridiculous 27 rushes for 117 yards. The first-rounder also completed 13-of-19 passes and did enough to pull out the win for a Ravens team coming off three straight losses to the Saints, Panthers and Steelers.
Harbaugh, in essence, is correct. Baltimore is firmly in play for a wild-card entry. This time of year is a boon to all those who strive to keep all 32 teams alive for the postseason -- the Ravens check the box.
But the concept that a defense-oriented team -- light on exciting weapons and averaging 23 points a game -- is about to threaten a high-flyer like the Chiefs?