The Baltimore Ravens ran into a Dallas Cowboys football team last Sunday that in the end turned out to be just a little bit better. Even though the Ravens showed some signs of life early in the contest it simply just wasn’t enough.
Head coach John Harbaugh began picking up the pieces from a disappointing loss at his Monday press conference. The path the Baltimore Ravens must take for the rest of the 2016 season is plain and simple.
“We look at the rest of the season as a six-game season, Harbaugh said. In some ways, this is like our opener. All eyes are really looking forward to become the best team we can be over the next six games. That’s our attention. That’s our focus.”
In order for Baltimore to maintain their focus and achieve their playoff aspirations on track every Raven including those battling with injuries like veteran guard Marshal Yanda who played against the Cowboys on Sunday, by moving to the Left Guard spot due to issues with his right shoulder will have to be prepared to contribute in any way possible.
“He played well, Harbaugh said. “He kind of looked like he’s played it all long. He didn’t have any problems in there. It was a good move for us. I was weary of it early in the week. I was just watching him in individual and seeing how he moved, but he did look natural doing it. I think he’s been on the left side at times during college and things like that. It just shows you what a phenomenal athlete he is and how determined he is and really what a good football player he is.”
Despite a frustrating loss to the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys Harbaugh believes that they were the perfect matchup to get them ready to play another tough division game with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“We respect the Bengals, obviously, Harbaugh said. “We have not beat them for a while. It is a big game for us. It is a big challenge for us. They have always been tough for us as long as I have been here. I’m sure [they were tough] before that as well. It is a rivalry game, a division game. [They have] a very aggressive defense, a very hard-nosed, tough, fly-around-type of defense. [They have] a big, physical offensive line, an excellent quarterback – Pro Bowl guy. We have to find a way to beat them. If we do not start beating the Bengals, then we are not going to win any division championships. That is especially true this year. To me, the whole thing goes through Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. We are going to have to win a couple other games, too, but it is the division. This is a division game. It is as simple as that.”
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Cincinnati is headed into Sunday’s game in Baltimore without two of its best players but in the mind of John Harbaugh, that doesn’t change how the Ravens must approach the battle.
“We have had to play without players, Harbaugh said. “Everyone has to play without players. So, they have to play without players. That is just the way it goes. We just look at the players that are going to be out there, which will be plenty of good players that they have. We will have to defend them. That is really it. There is no really relishing or not relishing or anything like that. There is no way that goes into our thinking as much as we just have to go win the game against the team that they run out there. It is going to be a really good football team that is going to come out of that tunnel, and our job is to be better. They are going to look at it like their job is to be better for three hours on Sunday. It is going to be one heck of a tussle. I can’t wait. “
- Harbaugh on the play of Kenneth Dixon: “Yes, he has some explosiveness, he makes people miss – quickness. I think he is getting better. I would like to get him the ball more. That is the goal – to get him and Terrance [West] the ball more. To do that, we have to score points and extend drives and get the lead and do all those kinds of things. But I like what we see in both of those guys.”
- Harbaugh on the return of Jimmy Smith & Elvis Dumervil for Sunday’s game: “We will see. I don’t really know. It is up to the doctors.”