Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
Harbaugh likes Ravens' health after bye
The Baltimore Ravens emerged from the bye in the thick of the AFC playoff race and with their healthiest roster since training camp.
As a result, the team is refocused and looking to play its best football over the final seven weeks of the regular season. The Ravens, however, have lost five of their past seven games and need to build some momentum beginning Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach John Harbaugh also has a renewed confidence because the Ravens could have several key players back in the lineup, including running backs Danny Woodhead and Terrance West, along with tight end Nick Boyle.
"I'm excited for the fact that we have our offensive weapons back - the ones that are still with us. I feel like we are at full strength," Harbaugh said. "We are more full strength than we have been all year. We finally have a chance to be full strength. I am excited about that.
"We need guys on the field. We need our guys out there making plays, and our guys want to be out there making plays. Yes, I am more excited now probably than at any point in time all year in that way."
The Ravens (4-5) are just one game behind the Buffalo Bills for the last spot in the AFC playoff race. Baltimore also has a favorable schedule, playing just one team that currently has a winning record (Pittsburgh). Four of Baltimore's final seven games are at M&T Bank Stadium.
"You have to find a way to win some games," Harbaugh said. "There are going to be weeks that you're not going to win, but you have to string together some wins at some point in time. That's the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, winning your division or not."
Even with the healthier roster, the Ravens still need more production from the offense. Baltimore enters this week with the league's 32nd-ranked passing attack.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has passed for 1,551 yards with eight touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 72.7 passer rating, which is 31st among all quarterbacks.
Flacco said the team needs to be much more aggressive and start games stronger. He also wants to take more shots downfield.
"We need to go after it," Flacco said. "We can't sit back and just expect us to not lose football games. We got to go attack. We're a 4-5 football team. You always look at teams that are in this position and feel they have nothing to lose and we should feel that way. We got to go out there and leave it all out there."
SERIES HISTORY: 6th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 4-1. The Packers are also 3-0 at Lambeau Field. The teams last played in 2013, when the Packers won, 19-17, at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore most previously played at Green Bay in 2009, losing 27-14 on Monday Night Football.