2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens in 'tough spot' entering 2nd half of season

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-04 17:22

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - John Harbaugh can't deny it: The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are in a dire situation after losing three straight to fall into third place in the AFC North.

''As it stands, we're in a tough spot,'' Harbaugh acknowledged Monday, less than 24 hours after Baltimore lost to Cleveland 24-18 on Sunday.

The Ravens (3-5) hoped their bye-week would enable them to correct many of the flaws that plagued them earlier in the season. Against Cleveland, however, very little changed. Baltimore still couldn't get its running game going, allowed five sacks and failed to come up with the necessary plays required to win a close game.

If things don't improve, Harbaugh's streak of reaching the playoffs in five straight seasons will end. Fortunately for the Ravens, they're only halfway through their schedule.

''I know we have what it takes to be a very good football team the second half of the season,'' Harbaugh said. ''What we do in the first half does not determine what we do in the second half. We have opportunities to accomplish everything that we want to accomplish.''

The Ravens have two games left against the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, the first of which is Sunday in Baltimore. A victory would improve the Ravens' playoff outlook and reverse their negative momentum.

''You've got to be positive, you have to keep your head and your eyes forward, and that's what we're going to do,'' quarterback Joe Flacco said.

Of course, that's precisely what the Ravens did before losing to Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland in succession.

''We've got to win a game. Then once you do that, you get a chance to build on that,'' Harbaugh said. ''Over the course of the last three weeks, we just haven't been good enough to get that done.''

The biggest problem on Sunday, as it has been all season, was the lack of a running attack. Ray Rice, who ran for at least 1,000 yards in the previous four seasons, has 259 at the midpoint after being limited to 17 yards on 11 carries in Cleveland.

Flacco, with 25 yards, was Baltimore's leading rusher against the Browns.

''Cleveland played us in a run defense pretty much the whole game,'' Harbaugh said. ''We've got to get them out of that run defense. I mean, that's our job. To do that, we've got to be good and precise in the passing game. We've got to open up that coverage a little bit and force them to back off.''

It didn't happen against the Browns, who limited Flacco to 24-for-41 passing for 250 yards and an interception.

Flacco was 11-0 against Cleveland before that defeat. So was Harbaugh.

Left guard Kelechi Osemele, who missed Sunday's game with a bad back, will be placed on injured reserve.

''He's headed to IR,'' Harbaugh said. ''He's working right now with the doctors and with his representative to find out what type of surgery he wants to do, what doctor is the best person to do it.''

Harbaugh the recovery time is three to four months. Osemele was replaced Sunday by A.Q. Shipley.

In spite of it all, the Ravens still have a shot at the postseason. Not only is the second wild-card spot in the AFC is up for grabs, but Baltimore can move within a game of the Bengals in the loss column with a victory on Sunday.

''We need to go stack some wins,'' Harbaugh said. ''Cincinnati is leading the division, so this is an opportunity for us.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 07:53p

Free-agent RB Chris Johnson's (Titans) visit with the New York Jets reportedly went well Tuesday, April 15, but he left without a deal. Other teams are involved with him, too.

Rolando McClainApr 15 07:53p

The Baltimore Ravens worked out LB Rolando McClain, and it reportedly wasn't a success. McClain didn't finish his conditioning test and didn't perform drills.

Terrell ManningApr 15 05:43p

The Minnesota Vikings claimed LB Terrell Manning off waivers from the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, April 15.

Adam PodleshApr 15 05:13p

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent P Adam Podlesh (Bears) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, April 15.

Allen ReisnerApr 15 03:53p

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday, April 15, that they've signed free-agent TE Allen Reisner (Jaguars) to an undisclosed deal.

Daniel KilgoreApr 15 03:23p

San Francisco 49ers OG Daniel Kilgore was found not guilty of public intoxication related to his arrest in January in Tennessee. His case was dismissed following his appearance in [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 15 02:23p

The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal to re-sign QB Matt Flynn Tuesday, April 15, according to a source.

Dion JordanApr 15 01:53p

Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey is expecting big things from DE Dion Jordan in his second season this year. He's a very talented player and this is a [ More ]

Brandon LloydApr 15 01:33p

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent WR Brandon Lloyd (Patriots) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, April 15.

Chris JohnsonApr 15 12:23p

The Buffalo Bills have shown some interest in signing free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), according to sources.

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's 'ludicrous' to think that Giants QB Eli Manning is in decline. 'There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group