Harbaugh: 'It's a one game season'
Here are five takeaways from Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s press conference on Monday. Understandably, the mood was different than the previous four weeks, after Harbaugh reviewed film of the Ravens being whipped, 41-7, by the Patriots.
1. The Bengals have already clinched the AFC North and a playoff spot, but they are 7-0 at home, and Harbaugh expects a difficult game.
“We have everything at stake, and Cincinnati’s got much at stake too,” Harbaugh said. “Not everything, but they’ve got the division and they’re in the playoffs, but they’ve got some seeding issues that they’re playing for. It’s going to be a highly contested game.”
2. Harbaugh admitted Joe Flacco was hampered by his knee injury, but would have to continue playing through it.
"I can't think of one single player who is 100 percent," Harbaugh said. "Joe has played every single play all season. He's definitely not 100 percent on that knee. But to say how much or to what degree is just impossible to say. I thought he fought through it, he gutted it out, he battled."
3. Harbaugh said he should have gone for first down on fourth-and-five, when the Ravens trailed 20-0 in the third quarter.
There was plenty of second-guessing when Harbaugh sent the field goal unit on the field. Justin Tucker missed a 37-yarder, to make matters worse for the Ravens. “Looking back on it, I would agree with anybody that feels like we should’ve gone for that. I should have gone for that,” Harbaugh said.
4. Bengals wide receiver A. J. Green, who is fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (1365), is a Harbaugh favorite.
“I think I was the first guy that came out two years ago and said I thought he was the best receiver in football,” Harbaugh said. “I’m on record with A. J . Green kudos. I’ll just stand on that.”
5. Playing on Monday night in Detroit, then coming back Sunday afternoon against the Patriots late in the season took its toll on the Ravens according to Harbaugh.
“We fought through it all week as best we could,” Harbaugh said. “Our guys were excited to play, and I thought the effort was there. They fought like crazy, but we just didn’t have enough juice to pull it off. “But you’ve got to overcome it. It’s part of the deal. Everybody has scheduling issues that they’ve got to deal with in the National Football League, and that was one of ours.”