When the preseason rankings came out, the Baltimore Ravens weren’t picked by most analysts to win the AFC North. The division title was pretty much ceded to the Cleveland Browns. Although Cleveland came into M&T Bank Stadium and gave the Ravens a 40-20 loss, Baltimore is currently on top of the division.
The Ravens (3-2) currently sit over top of the Browns (2-3) after pulling off a 26-23 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s never easy going to Heinz Feild and coming away with a victory. Last week’s game was no different; especially with some questionable calls against them.
“A lot of things were going against us. Our guys kept their poise. Our guys didn’t get overwhelmed by the moment. They found a way, ultimately to win the game,” head coach John Harbaugh said.
“Antyime you go into Heinz Field and get a win especially in this rivalry, that’s a great accomplishment….Just another chapter in this incredible rivalry,” Harbaugh said. “When you’ve got that kind of character and play as hard as we did? We can do anything, with that.”
Now the Ravens look to string together back-to-back AFC North wins when the Cincinnati Bengals come to town on Sunday. The winless Bengals are under new management after long-time head coach Marvin Lewis was replaced by first-year coach Zac Taylor.
The Ravens will he without safety Tony Jefferson, one of their team leaders. He is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury last week.
“Tony Jefferson is a heart and soul for us. He’s a leader. He’s a great player— just a high-energy player. He’s a guy that flies around and makes plays. He’s a communicator for us on the backend,” said Harbaugh about Jefferson.
The Ravens will likely turn to Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott to fill in for Jefferson. The Ravens signed fourth-year defensive end Jihad Ward to take Jefferson’s place on the 53-man roster.
Consecutive wins against AFC North opponents would be huge for Baltimore.
Harbaugh knows it’s a long way until the end of the season but he’ll keep leading his guys on the journey.
“It depends 100 percent on us and what we do. Us plus us is what we are interested in. That’s the equation that we are believing-in. Let’s take care of our business and business will be taken care of,” Harbaugh said.