NFL Wire News

Ravens ready noise-makers as AFC’s No. 6 seed


BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco could not help but look at the scoreboard throughout the Baltimore Ravens’ crucial game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The San Diego Chargers entered the day with the sixth and final spot for the postseason, but they were trailing Kansas City for most of the afternoon. That opened the door for the Ravens to overtake the Chargers and sneak into the postseason if they could knock off the Browns.

After struggling for much of the afternoon, Flacco ignited the offense with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Ravens escaped with a 20-10 victory. As the teams were shaking hands, the scoreboard showed the Chiefs closing out the 19-7 victory over the Chargers, allowing the Ravens to sneak into the postseason.

Baltimore will travel to either Cincinnati or Pittsburgh next week in the first round of the playoffs. Flacco said the goal all season has been to win the team’s second Super Bowl in the past three years. And from past experience, he knows the Ravens are capable of making a run.

“I’m not going to be surprised if, three weeks from now, we’re sitting here and still playing, Flacco said. “I think when I say anything can happen — or if I was to say that — that’s implying we don’t deserve to win any games in the playoffs. We played a tough year, had lots of ups and downs, but obvious enough ups to give us a chance to go win it and that’s what we’re going to do.”

The Ravens are one of the league’s most playoff savvy teams, having advanced to the postseason in six of the past seven years. The players understand it takes a different mentality to be successful this late in the season.

“Everything starts at 0-0 now,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “All you got to do is win all your games now. So, if you ask me, I think we’re a hell of a team on the road. Sometimes, that’s the way you got to go.”

When asked if the Ravens can win the title, Suggs replied, “We better.”

In 2000, Baltimore qualified as a Wild Card and surged through the postseason, culminating in a dominant 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

In the 2012-13 season, Baltimore reached the playoffs as the AFC North champion. After knocking off the Colts at home, the Ravens went on the road and snapped the top-seeded Broncos’ 11-game winning streak in the divisional round. Baltimore then upset the Patriots also on the road for the AFC championship. The Ravens then clinched their second title in franchise history by beating the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.

The Ravens plan to forget about some of the disappointments of the regular season and focus on making another postseason run, even if every game is on the road.

“We’ve got a whole new start,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “Our goals and dreams are still alive.”

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