Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer 11d

'Why not us?': Ravens believe they can win out and make the playoffs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens stumbled to the bye with a losing record, a long list of improvements and surprisingly plenty of hope.

The Ravens are undaunted by the fact that they've lost five of their past seven games to fall to 4-5.

"Why not us?" safety Eric Weddle said. "I don't care what everyone else says. Why can't we go on a seven-game winning streak and get into the playoffs? Who says we can't? Look at our schedule."

The schedule is extremely favorable for Baltimore. Injuries helped the Ravens avoid playing quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck. Instead, they'll face Brett Hundley, Tom Savage and Jacoby Brissett.

Plus, the Ravens only have one team on their remaining schedule who have a winning record (the Pittsburgh Steelers), and four of the Ravens' final six games are at home. Baltimore's remaining opponents -- Green Bay, Houston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Cincinnati -- have a 23-34 (.403) combined record.

The Ravens are favored to win five of their final seven games, and they're only a slight underdog at Green Bay, according to ESPN Analytics. That's why Baltimore has a projected 41 percent chance to make the playoffs.

"We are in it. We are in it," coach John Harbaugh said. "There is no doubt about it, we are in it."

At this point, five AFC teams have over a 60 percent chance of reaching the postseason: the Steelers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

It looks like this will be a five-team race for the No. 6 and final playoff spot between the Ravens, Buffalo Bills (5-3), Miami Dolphins (4-4), Oakland Raiders (4-5) and New York Jets (4-5).

A couple of weeks ago, Harbaugh said he thought it would take 10 wins to get to the playoffs.

"Did I say 10?" Harbaugh asked, "Was that the number?"

When a reporter indicated that it was, Harbaugh said, "I don't know. I am hoping whatever we get is going to be enough."

It's difficult to say with any certainty that the Ravens will get hot and make a run at the postseason. Baltimore hasn't won more than two games in a row this season, and that was the first two weeks of the season.

The Ravens also have major holes on this team, and it will likely take more than a bye week to fix. Their offense ranks No. 30 in the NFL, and their run defense is No. 29.

"We better get this s--- fixed," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Otherwise, we're going to be on the outside looking in again."

Harbaugh, though, hasn't ruled out winning the AFC North despite the Ravens trailing the Steelers by 2 1/2 games with eight weeks remaining.

"We can win the division," Harbaugh said. "The Steelers are going to be in some tough games, and they still have to play us. This is a tough league. At no point in time are we going to say we can't win the division or make the playoffs, but we have to get on a roll. We have to win a game. Then, we have to win another game. We have to win two, three, four games in a row. We may have to win them all. If we have to do it, that is what we have to do. That is how we are looking at it."

^ Back to Top ^