There is no reason to panic for the last-place Baltimore Ravens. John Harbaugh and the Ravens have a plan to get into the playoffs.
They are built for November and December. They are 32-16 in the second half of the season in the John Harbaugh era. They get stronger as the season progresses.
And this is how they do it: They implement a taper in the second half. Training camps are long, physical and grueling. They believe this builds a season-long callous. The first half of the season the Ravens continue to have hard, physical practices.
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However, in the second half, the shoulder pads come off, meeting times in the morning are pushed back. Practices become more mental than physical. This translates into better performance on the field and well-rested and recovered players.
Harbaugh took this formula from his mentor, Andy Reid, during the time they spent in Philadelphia.
There are other reasons to believe in Baltimore.
Look at the Ravens’ schedule, they play a bunch of good teams, but no great teams. They will win Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans. Then, they have a bye week. Harbaugh & Co. are 5-1 after the bye week since 2008.
This year, they will face the 4-4 Saints in New Orleans on Monday Night Football. New Orleans is in first place in questionably the weakest division in the football.
Finishing the season, the Ravens do not play a team that currently has more wins than them.
Harbaugh thrives through adversity. Their worst second-half stretch in his tenure was 2012, when the team went 4-4. As you all know, that team wound up winning the Super Bowl over the San Francisco 49ers.