Ravens have long list of items to address during bye week
By DAVID GINSBURG
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) The Baltimore Ravens staggered into their bye week with a losing record, an expansive injury list and a number of flaws that need to be corrected.
A 23-20 loss in Tennessee on Sunday sent the Ravens (4-5) deep into recovery mode as they prepared for a much-needed break.
"The timing is really good," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "There's a little bit of excitement in the sense that we're going to get some guys back."
It's probably going to take more than the return of running backs Danny Woodhead (hamstring) and Terrance West (calf) to revive Baltimore's sputtering offense. The Ravens entered the weekend with the league's 31st-ranked attack, and they didn't get into the end zone in Tennessee until the fourth quarter.
Although Harbaugh has gone through five offensive coordinators during his 10-year run in Baltimore, he remains steadfast in his support of No. 5, Marty Mornhinweg.
"I see an identity to this offense. I understand where we're going as an offense," Harbaugh said. "I have a good feel for what we're trying to accomplish. I can look at it and I can see where we're going to build. There's no doubt in my mind that we can be a very successful offense throughout the rest of the season."
Perhaps Joe Flacco's two fourth-quarter touchdown passes against the Titans were a start to that.
"We make some plays downfield, which was positive," Harbaugh said.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, it wasn't enough to make up a 16-6 halftime deficit.
"The games we've played really well in, the ones that we've won, have been because we've been able to get going early," Harbaugh said.
Flacco understands that he's part of the problem. He's thrown 10 interceptions compared to eight touchdown passes.
"We need to do things, obviously, a little bit better," the quarterback said. "You can't play too much worse than we've been playing, and we've obviously still been in a lot of football games. We're not going to get everything corrected overnight, but we are making progress."
In spite of their struggle, Harbaugh insists it's not too late for the team to make a playoff run. Not just for a wild-card spot, but for the AFC North title.
"We're in it. There's no doubt about it," Harbaugh said. "We can win the division. We just have to get on a roll."
Of the seven remaining games, four are at home. Baltimore returns from its bye for a game at Green Bay, which is still without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, then hosts Houston and Detroit.
All those games are winnable - if the Ravens play up to their ability.
Against Tennessee (5-3), Baltimore doomed itself by making too many mistakes. A poor start, a pair of interceptions and several untimely penalties contributed heavily to a galling defeat.
"In the games that we won, we haven't had those types of issues," Harbaugh said. "We've played clean football. We weren't, by any stretch, sloppy in terms of penalties and things like that. But it wasn't tight enough. We had two penalties in that game that really cost us. Those are the kinds of things that we're talking about."
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Updated November 6, 2017