The Baltimore Ravens are following one of the worst losses in franchise history with perhaps their most challenging week.
After losing 44-7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, the Ravens had to fly 7 1/2 hours -- 3,678 miles, to be exact -- to face their biggest rival seven days later.
Are the Ravens worried about how they'll respond against the Pittsburgh Steelers after a 37-point loss overseas?
"We’ll be ready," wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "You will not see this again on Sunday. I can promise you that."
Recent history suggests Wallace and the Ravens will back up those words. Baltimore lost by 20 or more points nine previous times under coach John Harbaugh, and the Ravens are 7-2 in games that followed those routs.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith illustrated Baltimore's ability to bounce back better than anyone.
"Everybody here knows, the year we won the Super Bowl, we got drubbed by Houston," Smith said. "It’s one game. It doesn’t count as two losses. It counts as one. We go back to the drawing board and get ready for the next game."
Smith is correct: Baltimore lost at Houston by 30 points in the middle of October 2012, and the Ravens were hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy 105 days later.
This time, the Ravens got humiliated by the Jaguars and now surprisingly play the Steelers for sole possession of first place in the AFC North. Though Ravens-Steelers games are known for their hard hits, the winner could come down to the team that handles the mental aspect of the game better.
While the Ravens were crushed by the Jaguars on Sunday, the Steelers were upset by the Chicago Bears.
"You’ve got to keep guys’ heads up," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "So much of this game is confidence and going out there and getting it done. If you let one of these games creep into your mind and debilitate you, then you’ll be in trouble. We just have to make sure we keep our heads up and keep going."
The quick one-week turnaround after playing in Europe is tough. But it was requested.
The Ravens asked the league for a bye later in the season after it was announced they were going to London in Week 3. Baltimore didn't want such an early week off, so the NFL accommodated the Ravens by giving them a Week 10 bye and sending the Steelers to M&T Bank Stadium in Week 4.
"If I had my druthers, I would have rather it been maybe some other team," owner Steve Bisciotti said in a call with season-ticket holders in June.
The last time Jeremy Maclin played in England (2015 with the Chiefs), Kansas City received a bye the following week to get readjusted, as often is the case. Not having the week off following a London game doesn't seem to bother Maclin.
"It’s our job as professional athletes to get ourselves ready to play," Maclin said. "It’s not any different than playing on Thursday."
Baltimore has gotten the better of Pittsburgh lately. The Ravens have won six of the past eight regular-season games against the Steelers, with an average margin of victory of eight points.
"I don’t care who we play," Wallace said. "It’s not about Pittsburgh. It’s about our team and rebounding because we lost [Sunday] and we want to get better for the next week. They just happen to be the next people up on the schedule."