EARLY BIRD: Harbaugh wants Ravens to have tunnel vision

EARLY BIRD: Harbaugh wants Ravens to have tunnel vision
December 28, 2013, 7:00 am
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Ravens need to end road woes against Bengals

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh squats on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 19-16.

(Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports)

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, on a travel day to Cincinnati.

What you should know: John Harbaugh is preaching tunnel vision to the Ravens. Don’t worry about the other Sunday games that will impact their playoff fate. Just worry about the Bengals.

Asked if it would be hard not to get updates on the Jets-Dolphins game, Harbaugh said, “We’re not playing in that game, are we? What I care about and what our guys care about is winning the (Bengals) game.”

If the Ravens win, they will make the playoffs if either the Dolphins or Chargers lose. The Dolphins host the Jets at 1 p.m. The Chargers host the Chiefs at 4:25 p.m. If the Ravens lose, they can only make the playoffs if the Dolphins, Chargers, and Steelers all lose. The Steelers host the Browns at 1 p.m.

It’s going to be a wild Sunday. But Harbaugh wants the Ravens’ focus to be on the field, not on the out-of-town scoreboard.

Player in the spotlight: Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith With 62 catches for 1,101 yards this season, Smith is having a career year. But he could also have a franchise year. Smith needs just 101 yards Sunday to break the Ravens’ all-time mark for receiving yards in a season (1,201) set by Michael Jackson in 1996.

Smith’s production has tailed off in the second half of the season, with only one game over 90 yards in his last 10 games. A breakout game would help Smith set a franchise record, and could also help the Ravens reach the playoffs.

Morning thought: “We plan on winning the game by any means necessary. After that it’s out of our control.” Harbaugh on the Ravens’ approach to Sunday.

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