Stuck in their first three-game losing streak since 2009, the Ravens have maintained there is no need to panic because the team has already clinched a playoff berth in the AFC and has a one-game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC North title.
A win against the New York Giants on Sunday would assure the Ravens of the No. 4 seed and a home contest in the first round of the postseason. Even so, there’s a sense of urgency in the Ravens locker room to snap the skid and inject a little confidence into the organization.
“We’ve just got to continue to go back to what we were doing, get back in the groove of things,” cornerback Cary Williams said Wednesday. “We’re in a slump, and everybody’s aware of it. We’ve got another challenge this week. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as the weeks progress. But we want to build a lot of momentum going into the playoffs.”
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Losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos have removed some of the polish from the Ravens’ image as a Super Bowl contender. But running back Ray Rice said the players aren’t concerned with the scrutiny from outside observers.
“The criticism hasn’t gotten to us,” he said. “Obviously, no one likes losing. We aren’t going to sit up here and sugarcoat anything about not going out there and not performing well. We can say our guys were hurt. We can say this: that it’s always next man up.
"Obviously, we have to do a better job of No. 1, preparing but going out there preparing to execute at a high level. We’ve shown flashes of that. With all of that being said, we can’t sit back and say we aren’t thankful for being in the playoffs. It’s been five years in the running for me, and this year, it just happens to be a little bit different.
"No matter how you get in, it’s always the team who gets hot right about now. You look at the New York Giants. They got hot right about right now, and they went ahead and won the thing last year. No team has to be perfect right now, but if you go in there and start executing and you start playing that good football, you never know what can happen.”