No one is going to convince John Harbaugh that the Baltimore Ravens' historic streak lacks meaning because it occurred in an otherwise meaningless part of the NFL calendar.
With a 20-3 rout of the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night, the Ravens won their 19th straight preseason game, which unofficially ties an NFL record. The Vince Lombardi-era Packers won 19 exhibition games in a row from 1959 to 1962 -- ending just weeks before the Ravens coach was born.
"All those guys who were a part of that over those years should be proud tonight of that because it's something only one other team has ever done -- the Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers," Harbaugh said. "I'd say that's notable."
The Ravens went old-school to place themselves alongside Lombardi and the Packers. Tied with the Panthers at halftime, the Ravens ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. Baltimore held Carolina to 18 total yards after halftime.
The Ravens have not lost a preseason game since Sept. 3, 2015. Coincidentally, Baltimore's preseason streak started in 2016 against the Panthers.
"There's going to be people that are going to say this doesn't mean anything," Harbaugh said. "There's going to be people that are going to look at it and say, 'Wow, that's something.' I'm of the belief that everything has meaning in life."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Ravens' preseason streak is the longest in at least 26 years. Elias' preseason records don't go beyond 1995.
But long-time NFL reporter Rick Gosselin reported the Packers won 19 consecutive exhibition games 59 years ago.
The Ravens didn't match that streak because they repeatedly play their star players in the preseason. On Saturday, Baltimore toppled Carolina despite not suiting up seven starters, including Pro Bowl players such as quarterback Lamar Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
"It's a good feeling to have because you can see the type of culture we have as a team and organization," said Tyler Huntley, who started at quarterback in place of Jackson. "We strive to win every time we step on the field. It just shows you how much depth as a team that we have to keep rolling out wins in the preseason."
Some players were aware of the streak heading into the game. After the win, Harbaugh informed his players about the milestone preseason victory in the locker room.
"We celebrated and cherished that moment," Ravens safety Chuck Clark said. "But we're kind of in the record books right now but we just got to keep getting more and keep getting better as a team."