EARLY BIRD: Ravens' road to playoffs will be hard

EARLY BIRD: Ravens' road to playoffs will be hard
October 28, 2013, 7:00 am
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EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, as they regroup after their bye, and look forward to Week 9.

Two-minute topic: Will the Ravens (3-4) climb back into the AFC playoff picture?

The good news for the Ravens (3-4) is that they are in second place in the AFC North.

Now the bad news, and there is plenty. The Ravens trail the Bengals (6-2) by 2½ games. Meanwhile, if the playoffs started today, the Ravens wouldn’t make it. Not only do the four division leaders have better records than the Ravens, but the Broncos (6-1), Chargers (4-3), and Jets (4-4) lead the Ravens as well.

The Bengals are the clear favorites in the AFC North, after dominating the Jets, 49-9, on Sunday. Having won four straight, the Bengals are threatening to run away with the division, which would leave the Ravens fighting to make the postseason as a wild card.

For the Ravens to make the playoffs, it’s going to be as difficult as any season in John Harbaugh’s six-year tenure.

“We’re in the middle of the pack right now,” Harbaugh said last week. “So, we can either go down, stay the game, or get better. We intend to get better. What we need to do is go win the next game, and then the game after that, and then the game after that, and then the game after that.”

The Ravens need a winning streak, starting Sunday against the Browns (3-5) in Cleveland. The bye week is over for the Ravens. Now the hard work really begins.

Morning thought: “The bottom line is, you just want to look at wins. We haven’t been good enough in that department, and we haven’t been good enough on offense. It starts with me.” – Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, assessing the first half of the season.

More Ravens news: Will the Ravens get better or worse after the bye?

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