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Ravens' Harbaugh says 49ers can wait -- it's Bengals week

We'll never know if he's telling the truth, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh says he's not looking past Sunday's meeting with the Bengals.

It would be understandable if he were, at least on some subconscious level, considering Baltimore's next opponent is the 49ers, coached by Jim Harbaugh, John's younger brother.

"This week is Cincinnati," John told The Baltimore Sun on Monday. "Next week will be whoever we play next week, whenever we play them. But this week is Cincinnati. Absolutely."

We doubt John's reduced the Thanksgiving night brother-against-brother clash to "whoever" and "whenever," but it was a diplomatic tip of the hat to the Bengals.

The Ravens, of course, can't afford to mail the Cincy game in, currently log-jammed with the Bengals at 6-3 behind the 7-3 Steelers

"There is nothing comfortable about what we are up against," John said. "It's going to be a fight. It's a team that we know, a team that we understand, and it's going to be a tough ballgame."

Baltimore's on-again/off-again routine is wearing thin. Two solid victories over Pittsburgh are less impressive in the light of mysterious losses to the Jaguars and Seahawks. Dropping the Bengals tilt would set off sirens and cast doubt on this team's ability to endure a rough-and-tumble playoff run.

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