But quarterback Joe Flacco doesn't want the Ravens to play like their season is hanging over their heads.
"We don’t have anything to lose right now," Flacco said. "We can’t really be in any worse of a situation and still have hope. We’ve got to go out there, and we’ve got to lay it on the line. And that’s what we did last year. We let it all go, and we just played free. We focused on what was next or what was there right now. And if we do that this year, then we have all the ability in the world to play well and turn this thing around and play the way we want to."
The Ravens have faced pressure situations in the past, although the games usually occur later in the season. In 2008, the Ravens needed to beat Jacksonville in the season finale to earn a wild-card spot. The same in 2009, when the Ravens had to win in Oakland. In 2011, Baltimore had to win at Cincinnati to clinch the AFC North.
And the Ravens usually play their best when leading up to the postseason. Since Flacco came into the NFL in 2008, the Ravens have the fourth-best record (33-16) in regular-season games in November, December and January. Only the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts have better marks over that time.
"I was thinking to myself [that] we’ve been in this type of situation before," Flacco said. "Whether we were at the top of the Wild Card [race] or the top of the division, we’ve always been in a pretty tight race where it’s come down to the last game of the season and having to win a football game. We’ve been in tight races before, and we’re really in no different of a situation this year right now. Our record just isn’t the same. We’ve probably been in this same situation or a similar situation, but we’ve been 6-4 and we’ve needed to be 11-5. We’ve just got to take it one game at a time, and in the end it will all work itself out.”