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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-25


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-25


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-25
The Ravens (10-5) don't want any help to make the playoffs Sunday.


When they play the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10), their focus is that they need to beat them to reach the postseason.

"You look at our guys and our football team, I don't know that we're the type of team that's going to want to go out there and not win a football game no matter what's at stake," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It just so happens that we expect everything to be at stake. So we need to go win the football game."

The Ravens, who will make the playoffs with a victory over Jacksonville, play the Jaguars at 4:15 p.m. (The NFL switched to a later kickoff Monday.) But if the New England Patriots (10-5) lose to the Buffalo Bills in a contest that starts at 1 p.m., the outcome of the Ravens-Jaguars game will be moot.

"New England is going to win a football game," Harbaugh said. "We know that. Everybody knows that," he said. "So we're going (out there) to win our football game. That's what we need to take care of, and we don't need anybody else to get us in the playoffs."

Asked whether the Patriots are the lock of the week, Harbaugh replied: "The lock of the week. Book it."

Harbaugh said he doesn't think the Patriots' game will be a distraction to his team.

Even though the Ravens' locker room doesn't have TVs, Harbaugh isn't going to stop players from watching the game in the equipment room or somewhere else around the stadium.

"I'm sure they'll sneak into the equipment room or whatever and take a look," Harbaugh said. "And you know what? That's OK. Everybody gets ready in their own way."

To reach the playoffs, the Ravens only have to avoid something that has yet to happen this season: a letdown.

The Ravens are 6-0 against teams that currently have losing records, winning by an average of 19 points.

That's why it isn't surprising that the Ravens are 12 1/2-point favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This spread is the largest of the season for the Ravens. The only time that the Ravens were more than a touchdown favorite was Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders when the Ravens were giving up eight points.

The Ravens, though, repeatedly say they will not be overconfident. They just want it over quickly.

Asked if the Jaguars can gain motivation in trying to knock the Ravens out of the playoffs, Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco said, "Yeah, probably for about the first quarter. But as long as we come out and let them know that we're here to play, hopefully we can let them know that they have no business coming to Baltimore and trying to ruin our chances."

SERIES HISTORY: 16th regular-season meeting. The Ravens trail in the series, 9-6. The Jaguars had lost six straight in the series before routing the Ravens, 30-3, in 2005. Kyle Boller threw three interceptions and was sacked four times. At that point, the Ravens produced season lows in points, total yards (163), first downs (eight) and net passing yards (110).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 25, 2008

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