Why Ravens are still in the AFC North race

There are plenty of instances in the first 10 weeks of the season that still bother the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens were swept by the Cincinnati Bengals. They were routed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on national television. They failed to show up offensively in Indianapolis, down to the final dropped pass by Torrey Smith.

"We realize that we would like to be a lot better, but we’re just going to take it," linebacker Terrell Suggs said as the Ravens begin their bye week. "After 10 games, we’ve won six of them. We’ve lost four games to four teams with winning records. There’s a lot to be said about that."

Suggs is exactly right. There is something to be said about a team taking care of business. That's the reason why the Ravens (6-4) are in the thick of the AFC North race.

The Ravens are a half game out of first place in the division because they've beaten the lesser teams and the other teams have not.

  • The Cleveland Browns (6-3) lost to the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars by 18 points. It's the only win for the Jaguars this season.

  • The Bengals (5-3-1) tied the Carolina Panthers at home on Oct. 12. That's the last time the Panthers (3-6-1) didn't lose.

  • The Steelers (6-4) lost at home to Tampa Bay and at the New York Jets. The Buccaneers and Jets are a combined 1-16 against the rest of the league.

The combined record of the teams who have beaten the Ravens is 22-13-2 (.621). That's been an enduring trend under coach John Harbaugh -- beat the teams you're supposed to beat. Since Harbaugh took over as Ravens coach in 2008, the Ravens are 34-8 (.809) against teams with losing records, including Sunday's 21-7 win over the Tennessee Titans. The only coach with a better mark since 2008 is the Patriots' Bill Belichick, who is 37-7 (.840).

Of the Ravens' six remaining games, half are currently against teams with losing records: New Orleans Saints (4-5), Jaguars (1-9) and Houston Texans (4-5). The Ravens know they are going to need every win possible in the only division in football where every team has a winning record.

"I feel the same way I felt about it when the season opened -- it's the best division in football," Harbaugh said. "It's going to be a dogfight right to the end. We just need to do our part. We understand how good the other three teams are in our division and how well they're going to play down the stretch. That should just serve further notice to us in terms of how well we need to play."