Strong Septembers are Harbaugh hallmark

Strong Septembers are Harbaugh hallmark
September 29, 2013, 7:00 am
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How the Ravens Dean Pees prepares for the Bills

GAME DAY EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens (2-1) as they prepare to face the Bills (1-2) at 1 p.m.

Two-minute topic: Can the Ravens start 3-1 and take another step toward a sixth consecutive playoff season?

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Not long ago, the Ravens’ bandwagon was losing passengers.

Tell the truth. How did you feel about the Ravens in Week 1, after watching them get blown out by the Broncos?

Three weeks later, the outlook in Ravens’ land is much sunnier. If they can escape today’s road game against the Bills with a victory, the Ravens will end a typically strong September under John Harbaugh, sitting at 3-1.

Many coaches like to break the 16-game season into four-game segments. Try to go at least 3-1 every four games. Finish 12-4 or better. Go to the playoffs.

Since 1990, 65 percent of teams that started 3-1 made the playoffs. Compare that to starting 2-2. Only 36 percent of 2-2 teams have made the playoffs since 1990. That’s a huge difference, and another reason why the Ravens cannot afford a letdown.

The Ravens have plenty of room for improvement, particularly on offense. But consider tight end Dennis Pitta was lost in training camp. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones will miss his third straight game today. Running back Ray Rice is a game-time decision after missing last week.

Under those circumstances, would the Ravens happily take a 3-1 start? You bet. A win today against the Bills would make that happen.

Morning thought:

“When I was younger, the personal accolades were a (desired) achievement for me. The only thing we need to account for is wins and losses, and we’re 2-1 after three games. That’s not terrible, (but) we can do better.”

-- Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs