A narrative has emerged in the past two years regarding the question of whether the Ravens, with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, can win in the postseason. Baltimore has lost two playoff games in a row, and the question becomes will it become three this year?
In reality, the Ravens have already won four straight playoff games, in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. And they’ll likely need to run that streak to five to make it into the seven-team AFC field.
To get there, the Ravens will have to beat the Bengals. Baltimore faced the same win-and-in scenario three years ago. It was going well until it didn’t, with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd on fourth and 12 with 44 seconds left knocking Baltimore out of the postseason.
Will coach John Harbaugh remind his players of that wrinkle from New Year’s Eve 2017?
“I’ll probably just kind of like allude to it,” Harbaugh told PFT by phone after Sunday’s win over the Giants. “I doubt that I’ll bring it up too much because I don’t want them to get too tight.”
They’ve been anything but tight in recent weeks, rattling off win after win and culminating in a victory over a Giants team that, despite its 5-9 record, was playing for their playoff lives.
“All they were talking about was how physical the game was going to be and how they were going to beat us up up front and all that kind of stuff,” Harbaugh said of the Giants. “And they were. It was so chippy. I mean after the play every single play pushing, shoving all that.”
The Ravens pushed their way past the Giants and have now shoved their way into serious playoff contention. And maybe the Ravens will win a game or two when it’s time to win or go home, because they’ve already won four in a row under those exact circumstances.