The Ravens didn’t have much time after Derrick Henry’s game-winning run into the end zone before they had to turn their attention to the Steelers.
Just four days after the Ravens’ second-straight loss, they’ll head to Pittsburgh to face the unbeaten Steelers on Thanksgiving night. There, the Ravens’ AFC North chances, mathematically, will be on the line.
Sunday’s loss to Tennessee was a physical one for Baltimore. It won’t get any easier in less than a week.
“I don’t know the measurement on that,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to do it, though. It doesn’t really matter how difficult it is, it’s something that we need to get done.”
The Ravens fell to 6-4 with the loss and, should they lose to the Steelers, are staring 6-5 in the face before the final five games of the season. In a crowded AFC playoff picture, every win is going to count down the stretch to either put them in the playoffs, or potentially avoid the killshot against the Chiefs in the first round.
“We have to play Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, and we have to focus on them, because it’s a quick turnaround, get our bodies right and go try to get a win,” defensive end Derek Wolfe said. “You have to stack wins. Wins come in bunches. You’ve just got to get that one win. You can’t get used to losing. That’s one thing; I know how that feels, and you can’t get used to it.”
After their Thursday night matchup with the Steelers, the Ravens will host the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football a week later before a schedule break will give them a mini bye week. After the Cowboys game on December 3, they won’t play for 11 days.
By that point, the schedule will have toned down not only in quantity, but quality as well.
The Ravens will play the Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, Giants and Bengals in the final five weeks of the season, teams that as of Sunday night, have just 16 combined wins. If the Browns are taken out of that equation, the four teams on that schedule have just nine total wins.
But that’s of no help to the Ravens right now.
“‘Harbs' gave a speech, and our focus is on Pittsburgh,” inside linebacker Patrick Queen said. “This season is whatever we make it to be. We’ve still got chances to do what we want to do. As long as we just move on to next week and just get better in practice, we’ll be fine.”
The Ravens still have a plethora of issues plaguing the team as they head down the stretch. Key defensive players are still on the mend, the offense hasn’t put everything together since the first week of the season and they haven’t played a full 60-minute game arguably all season.
None of those issues can be solved in a week. Especially not a short one.