By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
7:16 AM EDT, October 25, 2013
As the Ravens packed their bags Sunday night in the locker room and took inventory of their season after a narrow loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Terrell Suggs declared the defending Super Bowl champions were in a "state of emergency."
It sounded a bit like the title of an action movie that could have been part of Suggs' eclectic DVD collection, which includes everything from "Good Fellas," "The Bourne Legacy," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Ted," "Tropic Thunder" and "Hangover II."
"I think he's watching too many movies," wide receiver Torrey Smith said Wednesday with a laugh.
Jokes aside, the Ravens are facing a serious situation even though they remain in the hunt in the AFC North. The defending Super Bowl champions are 3-4 with nine games remaining and still have four division games left, including two against the first-place Cincinnati Bengals (5-2).
The Ravens play the Cleveland Browns (3-4) on Nov. 3 following a bye, then the Bengals the following week. They get a rematch with the Steelers on Nov. 28 before closing out the regular season Dec. 29 at Cincinnati.
Smith, a former Maryland standout, acknowledged that the Ravens can't afford any more missteps as they try to right their season.
"At the end of the day, we know what’s on the line," said Smith, who leads the team with 31 receptions for 629 yards and one touchdown. "When you lose games early, you lose your leverage. Your leverage is your ability to make mistakes.
"We don’t plan on losing, but it’s better to have more wins than losses. At the end of the season, we’re going to have to count them up, and our room for error is [small] now.”
With the exception of a 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos to open the season, the Ravens' defeats have all been close ones, with a total of eight points separating them in losses to the Buffalo Bills (23-20), Green Bay Packers (19-17) and Steelers (19-16).
With a dormant running game, a passing attack that hasn't consistently clicked, a defense that's been vulnerable against the run and special-teams units that have had too many miscues lately, the Ravens have earned their losing record.
"We're going into this bye week a little bit different than it has been in past years," Smith said. "Our winning percentage isn't how we want it to be. You get the opportunity to step back away from the game, enjoy your family and get away from [football.] That way, we'll focus for the second half, which is going to be a grind for us."
The Ravens have scored 150 points and allowed 148 this season.
None of their three wins have come against teams with winning records, beating the Browns (3-4), the Houston Texans (2-5) and the Miami Dolphins (3-3).
"We know what we have to do," Smith said. "There’s no secret. We haven’t been playing the way we wanted to, but what we need to fix is obvious. It’s not like it’s a rough project. It’s really on us as players to go out there and get it done.
"At the end of the day, if they call a play, offense and defense, and it works because we execute, everyone is a genius, everyone looks good. If we’re out there and we’re not playing the way we’re supposed to, then it looks pretty bad and nobody fought but us as players. We’ve got to go out there and get it done.”
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