John Harbaugh: Ravens know we have to win out

With the Ravens (7-6) firmly in second place in the AFC North, coach John Harbaugh knows the scenario from here on out: just win.

"Yes, absolutely, we know where we stand and the situation we are in. And that we basically have to win three games, you know, and (we're) certainly fully capable of doing that," he told reporters following last night's 30-23 loss to the Patriots in New England. "That's what we intend to do, but all the focus goes to the next game. That's what I told the guys in the locker room, pack up the buses as quick as we can, get back to Baltimore and get to work on Philadelphia."

Because the NFL is wonderful at scheduling pesky late-season games for perennially good teams, Baltimore will have their chance. After the Eagles game, they take on the division-leading Steelers in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day before heading to Cincinnati for the season finale on New Years.

The Steelers, winners of four straight, currently sit atop the division at 8-5 with games against the Bengals, Ravens and Browns remaining. The game against Cleveland (0-13) gives them a clear edge to finish out the season on top.

While playing some of their best football in years, the Ravens simply ran into the late-season bear trap which is New England at night in Foxborough under the bright lights. Tom Brady is already hard enough to beat under neutral circumstances.

This should not be considered a lost season for Baltimore, especially given how well Joe Flacco rebounded from ACL surgery. The team survived a four-game losing streak and rekindled its status as an elite defense. They're currently fourth in points surrendered, third in yards surrendered and first across the board against the run.

Though their core is rapidly aging, they are a team that gives off the sense that it's not over yet.

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