Ravens quash unpleasant memory of Jags, look toward Steelers
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Back in the states after an embarrassing loss to Jacksonville, the Baltimore Ravens quickly turned their attention toward this Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The coaches and players viewed tape of the game on the flight home from London, and by the time they touched down in Baltimore it was time to look ahead.
”We’ve been working on the Pittsburgh Steelers all day,” coach John Harbaugh said Monday. ”We have a mission in front of us.”
After their miserable performance against the Jaguars in a 44-7 defeat , the Ravens (2-1) were only too happy to put that game behind them.
”We’ll work on correcting the things we need to correct, but you always have to do it with a forward mindset,” Harbaugh said. ”You can’t correct the mistakes and replay the game from last week. We’re getting ready for the Steelers and need got to apply what we’ve learned to the next game. Really, all eyes are on the game ahead of us.”
Baltimore’s performance against the Jaguars was both awful and downright stunning. After collecting eight sacks and forcing 10 turnovers in their first two games, the Ravens registered a big zero in both categories.
The first half was especially brutal, when Baltimore fell behind 23-0 while allowing twice as many points as in its first two games combined. The Ravens managed only one first down, were outgained 261-21 in yardage and got 8 yards passing from Joe Flacco.
”In all honesty, I didn’t recognize our team out there and I told them that.” Harbaugh said. ”We had a real good week of practice. But we didn’t have our legs. We just weren’t right.”
Maybe it was five-hour time difference, the foreign atmosphere, the food, or perhaps the Ravens just took Jacksonville too lightly. Whatever the case, it might be a while before Harbaugh again takes his team across the Atlantic Ocean.
”There were some certain things that came up that you look at and go, `That wasn’t ideal.’ We have no control where we stay, how far the bus ride is, how long it takes us to get to the stadium, those kinds of things,” the coach said. ”To be honest with you – and maybe I’ll get in trouble for saying this – we don’t plan on going over there anytime soon. So somebody else can do that job.”
After all the excitement and anticipation the trip generated beforehand, it turned out to be a real downer.
”I can’t give you an excuse why we played so bad,” safety Eric Weddle said. ”We all stunk it up, and we’ll get better from it.”
Making matters worse, the Ravens lost starting defensive end Brent Urban to a foot injury, and it’s likely he will be placed on injured reserve. Harbaugh said it was a lisfranc injury and that surgery will be required.
Bronson Kaufusi and rookie Chris Wormley should be getting more playing time for an injury-plagued team that unfortunately is getting quite used to replacing one player with another.
”Those guys, it’s their turn to step up,” Harbaugh said. ”We’ve had a lot of practice this year of guys stepping up. So we’re getting good at it now.”
On a crazy Sunday in the NFL, all four AFC North teams were defeated – including the Steelers (2-1), who fell in overtime to the Chicago Bears. The winner of Sunday’s game will take over sole possession of first place.
”We respect them,” Harbaugh said of the Steelers. ”They’re a heck of a football team. We can’t wait to play them, and they can’t wait to play us.”
For more NFL coverage: http://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL