For almost exactly 13 days in January, nearly the length of most folks holiday season, the Baltimore Ravens get some rest.
“This year takes on a different character for the Ravens than the last three years,” head coach John Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference after the Ravens 24-16 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. ” But right now, this is the most special – this is the one we’re in. This is the one we had the high hopes for.”
You and the rest of the state, John.
Purple lights have replaced white ones as we transition from Christmas into the postseason. Football acts as a more religious experience to some compared to the holiday season. After all, this team has a legitimate shot to bring back its second Lombardi trophy.
“We have an opportunity to take advantage of the week that we haven’t had in the past to try to improve ourselves. And that’s the plus of having a bye. That’s where you have a little bit of a leg up, plus you get a home game,” Harbaugh went on to say in his planned weekly meeting with the media.
The Ravens finished the regular season with an unblemished 8-0 record at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore even won both of its preseason games in the 2011 season, if you want to get technical. They have beaten three playoff teams at M&T this season (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh & Houston) and could get either the Steelers or the Texans next Sunday at home.
Baltimore only has two divisional wins in its short history as the Ravens. Both of them took place in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans, a team the Ravens couldn’t beat on the road in 2011. They’ve never won a home playoff game in the divisional round and have only won one home playoff game in franchise history – their first in 2000 against Denver.
Every season has a different feel to it and this year seems like it’s the Ravens year to remain without a loss at home.
First, the team needs an opponent. An unexpected week of rest and anticipation only amplifies the playoffs in Baltimore.
Get an instant “Dash of Dachille” on Twitter. Follow him at WBALDash. You can also “like” Dash on Facebook. Just search “Dash of Dachille.”