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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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