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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-19


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-19


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-19
When the Ravens (9-5) play at the Dallas Cowboys (9-5), they expect some pageantry surrounding the final game at Texas Stadium.


But the Ravens acknowledge their focus has to be on the playoffs -- or their season will be history.

If the Ravens win their final two regular-season games (at Dallas and home against the Jacksonville Jaguars), they will clinch a wild-card spot. If they lose, the Ravens would lose control of their playoff destiny.

That's why the Ravens want to spoil the party at Texas Stadium.

"It's not going to affect how we play or our emotions," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the final game at Texas Stadium. "We know what we got at stake for our team. We're not too concerned about their history or their tradition. We respect it and it's neat for them. I think it will affect their team more than us."

Having to play the final game at Texas Stadium is not an optimal situation. But the Ravens have overcome scheduling difficulties in the past.

When Hurricane Ike postponed their game at Houston, the Ravens lost their bye and had to play 15 straight weeks. That includes a stretch of three consecutive road games.

But the Ravens didn't just survive that stretch. They flourished.

Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco said he thought about the fanfare surrounding the final game at Texas Stadium before the season. But he hasn't thought about it since.

"That's exactly what we're going to try to do is make it the last game in Dallas," he said. "As long as we do that, we'll be happy."

The Cowboys' record at Texas Stadium is 212-99, including 6-1 this season.

NFL teams have a successful history in closing out stadiums.

Since the close of the 1995 season, 13 teams have moved to a new stadium. Their record in the final regular-season is 11-2.

The Ravens, however, don't want to engage in such talk.

"Right now, we control our own destiny of getting into the playoffs, that's the bottom line," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "We're not waiting on (anybody) to lose. People are behind us now, and the thing that I've been telling guys, we're not getting caught up in all of this thing that Dallas wants to do because they're closing the stadium. That (doesn't) have anything to do with us. We're the Ravens, they're the Cowboys. Let them take care of that. Our job is to go win a 60-minute ball game and set up the game against Jacksonville, come home and try to get in the dance."

SERIES HISTORY: 3rd meeting. The Ravens lead the series, 2-0. This is the first meeting in Dallas. The Ravens have routed the Cowboys each time in Baltimore (27-0 in 2000 and 30-10 in 2004). In their last meeting, Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller completed 23 of 34 passes (68 percent) for 232 yards and accounted for all but 50 yards of the Ravens' total offense. He threw two touchdowns in the third quarter to put the Ravens ahead 14-3.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 19, 2008

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Jason Brown Name: Jason Brown
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Age: 25
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