2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens in control for 2nd wild-card slot in AFC

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-02 17:11

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - After all they've been through this season, the Baltimore Ravens are right where they need to be with four games left on the schedule.

The defending Super Bowl champions are riding their first winning streak since September, a two-game run that has put them atop the scramble for the AFC's second wild-card slot. Baltimore and Miami are both 6-6, but the Ravens own the tiebreaker by virtue of their 26-23 victory over the Dolphins in October.

If they win out, the Ravens are assured a sixth straight trip to the playoffs.

''We're excited about where we're at,'' coach John Harbaugh said Monday. ''You can't really look back and say we wish this would have happened or we wish that would have happened. What's happened has happened, good and not so good.''

The Ravens have yet to get their running game going, are 1-5 on the road and just two weeks ago were two games under .500 after losing four of five. All of that is now meaningless.

''We are position to control our own destiny,'' Harbaugh said. ''That is what you try to accomplish going into December. Now it's up to us to make the most of it.''

The Ravens still have a shot at winning the AFC North - they trail Cincinnati by two games - but their most likely route to the postseason is as the final wild card. Entering Thanksgiving weekend, six teams were tied at 5-6. But Baltimore's 22-20 victory over Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night created some separation, and by Sunday night only two of those six teams were at 6-6.

Harbaugh spent part of Sunday watching football on television. Several games had a direct bearing on the Ravens, such as the Bengals vs. Chargers and Jets vs. Dolphins.

''Everybody is playing everybody right now. A lot of times, it helps us either way and it hurts us both ways,'' he said. ''It doesn't really matter. That fact of the matter is, what matters is us. We just have to win. If we win games, things are going to work out for us. If we don't, things are going to be tough. We have to take care of ourselves.''

Baltimore still has a long way to go before it can be assured of making the playoffs. After hosting Minnesota on Sunday, the Ravens travel to Detroit, face New England at home and wrap up the regular season in Cincinnati.

The best part about playing on Thanksgiving night is that the players received some time off.

''Our team got a chance to heal at this time of year going into December. That's a big plus for us,'' Harbaugh said. ''We have December football in front of us. It's an important time of year. It's what we build our program around. It's where we try to be at our best.''

Harbaugh's teams usually save the best for last. Baltimore is 32-16 in November and December since Harbaugh took over in 2008, including 11-5 in December before last year, when the Ravens went 1-4 while coasting into the postseason.

''The idea is to be at your best when it means the most,'' Harbaugh said. ''That's what we try to do. ... We'll find out whether that is the case for this football team.''

As tough as this season has been, the Ravens just might end up benefiting from the uphill battle they've waged since losing to Denver by 22 in the opener.

''You definitely are a product of your experiences, and adversity is definitely a strength builder, a character builder,'' Harbaugh said. ''What we've been through has made us what we are right now. I'd like to think it's made us strong emotionally, mentally. And I think our hard work has made us strong, physically.''

The Ravens are relatively healthy. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (concussion) is expected to practice Wednesday, linebacker Elvis Dumervil has recovered from a leg injury and tight end Dennis Pitta could return after missing all year with a dislocated and fractured hip.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ 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