Coach John Harbaugh tried to make a big deal out of the Ravens’ playoff berth in the locker room.
With a 24-17 win over the Bills at New Era Field, the Ravens clinched their second-straight postseason berth — a just reason to celebrate.
But Harbaugh said the team only gave a brief applause, not a wholesale roar of cheers like he expected.
“I tried to make a big deal out of it in the locker room, and the guys kind of gave me a smattering of applause,” Harbaugh said. “I think they expected that, they earned the right to expect that. We’ve got three more games and things to accomplish still.”
Baltimore, at 11-2, is now mathematically guaranteed a spot in the AFC Playoffs come January. The news wasn’t unexpected, as it would’ve taken a complete collapse, and some help, for the Ravens to miss the playoffs.
It’s the second year in a row the Ravens are playoff bound, and with a win next week, they would clinch the AFC North, too.
“It’s great to lock up that playoff spot, but I think everybody in that locker room has aspirations to lock up that one-seed,” Hayden Hurst said. “We want the home-field advantage. We’ve got a couple games left to play and we’ve just got to focus on us.”
The win wasn’t pretty, as the Ravens had to use their defense once again to get past a top opponent in the NFL. Baltimore had just 257 yards of total offense, including 180 total yards from Lamar Jackson.
He threw three touchdown passes, but all three were deep in Bills territory as the offense struggled to find a consistent rhythm all afternoon.
Thus, the game was left on the shoulders of the defense to carry the load.
“We want to be the heroes sometimes,” Matthew Judon said. “It’s usually Lamar and the offensive line, the heroes of the game and they milk the clock. Today, we were called upon and we practiced and we focused on our situations even though they drove the ball down the field. We knew bend but never break.”
Thanks to the defense’s standout performance, the Ravens were able to shut down the Bills and dance into the playoffs.
They’ll have a short week before the Jets come to Baltimore on Thursday, but while Harbaugh tries to play up the playoff berth, that’s not what they have their minds set on.
“We haven’t done anything yet,” Judon said. “Just getting in isn’t enough. We got in last year and it wasn’t enough. This game always leaves you wanting more, and you’ve got to make it to the next day.”
MORE RAVENS NEWS: