Ravens can't dwell on 0-3 record

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 18:59:42-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens won't have much time to lament their status as the only winless team in the AFC.

Baltimore has a short work week before facing the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on the road Thursday night. The Ravens practiced Monday and will also hit the field Tuesday before heading north Wednesday.

During that quick turnaround, coach John Harbaugh and his players will strive to correct the many flaws that have contributed to Baltimore's unprecedented 0-3 start.

On Sunday, the Ravens lost to Cincinnati 28-24 despite twice holding the lead in the fourth quarter. Baltimore gave up 383 yards passing, managed only 36 yards on the ground and was flagged for 13 penalties totaling 116 yards.

"We've just got to get better at what we're doing, across the board," Harbaugh said Monday.

There is much to do, but in this case, a short week is actually a good thing.

"You do like to get right back at it, there's no question about it, win or lose," Harbaugh said. "But especially when you lose, you want to get right back at it and get a chance to redeem yourself. The guys are excited about that."

In his previous seven years as Baltimore's coach, Harbaugh never experienced an 0-2 start. Before Sunday, the Ravens were the only current team in the NFL that had never been 0-3.

In spite of it all, Harbaugh has not lost faith that this season can be salvaged.

"We're a very confident football team," he said. "We feel like we can overcome any adversity. We have before, and we will again."

Steve Smith was spectacular against the Bengals, catching 13 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. The 36-year-old worked so hard and was so exhausted that he received intravenous fluids on the sideline in the fourth quarter.

And now, with very little time to recover, Smith and the Ravens are headed to Pittsburgh (2-1).

"We don't have a choice," Smith said. "If we would have won, it would have been a quick turnaround. Let's go down there. We're going to Pittsburgh. That's going to be a physical, bullish kind of game."

In each of their defeats, the Ravens have been in position to win in the fourth quarter. Instead, they lost at Denver 19-13 and at Oakland 37-33 before coming up short against the Bengals.

That is cause for optimism for Harbaugh, who believes all the preparation that took place in the spring and summer will ultimately pay off in the fall.

"I told the guys, `We stand on the foundation of a lot of hard work, a lot of good work that we've put underneath ourselves," the coach said. "That does not disappear. We've been within a whisker, a play really, of winning all three of these games. That doesn't count for a hill of beans when it's all said and done and you look back, but it does count for something going forward."

The last team to reach the playoffs after starting 0-3 was the 1998 Buffalo Bills.

"It's a really tough situation for us. We have to grind our way, fight our way out of this," guard Marshal Yanda said. "We need to forget about this and get a win."


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