The loss to the Steelers was devastating as a fan, watching a team blow a 10 point lead for the first time since 2004. Losing the first home game in 16 attempts simply sucks and add on the first loss to their heated rivals for the first time in two plus years, and the world has fallen in Baltimore. But in the end, that loss could benefit the Ravens in the long run.
This team now has a sense of urgency that they have avoided basically all season by pulling out close win after close win. The Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the league, while the Steelers have pushed their names back into the playoff picture. Not to mention the massive show down on the 16th at M&T versus the Raven killer, Peyton Manning. That game will ultimately decide the teams’ playoff fate; whether they get home field advantage and/or a first round bye.
The last several Super Bowl Champions did not march into January as the top seed or the favorite, but their perseverance throughout the winter, allowed them to prepare for the fight that is the NFL Playoffs. Battle-tested teams seem to gain the edge in January, when every game is tight and the stakes are winning or go home.
The Ravens cannot afford to take a hit to their record versus the Redskins, because that pushes Cincinnati in striking distance of the division, with a game the final week of the season. It is funny to say that at 9-3, they cannot be comfortable but with a tough road ahead, Harbaugh must keep the Ravens composed.
The sense of urgency needs to bleed through Owings Mills at this point, as each loss makes the road to the Super Bowl that much harder for a team that has not played well on the road. Each win only brings on the next tough opponent and important game for seeding in January.