Sun, 25 Oct 2020

How the Ravens Plan to Regroup After Tough Loss

Baltimore Ravens
30 Sep 2020, 05:25 GMT+10

Clifton Brown

The Ravens have a history of bouncing back quickly from tough defeats.

They need to do that again following their 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. As deflating as Monday night was from a Ravens perspective, they can't afford to dwell on it. Entering Week 4, Baltimore is no longer in first place in the AFC North, and the division looks as if it will be highly competitive. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-0. The Cleveland Browns are 2-1.

The Ravens (2-1) need to move on, to get better after this defeat. Last year, the Ravens followed up a Week 3 loss in Kansas City with an even worse loss at home to the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore then went on a 12-game winning streak to finish 14-2. This year, they'd like to avoid the back-to-back losses and get on a roll.

It's asking a lot for the Ravens to pull off that kind of run again in 2020. But facing a short week of preparation before Sunday's road game against Washington, the faster the Ravens regroup, the better.

"It will be that way for everybody, all of us," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Start with me, it's a learning experience for me. I've got to get better, and it will be that way for everybody in our program. That's what we'll do with it. We better do that with it, because we're going to be playing in six days, and we've got to play a lot better than we did tonight."

At times like this, veteran leadership can be extremely important, to keep the defeat in perspective. The Chiefs clearly looked like the better team Monday night, but the Ravens hope to change that by January. After playing for an undefeated LSU team that won the national championship last season, Patrick Queen had not walked into a losing locker in a long time before Monday night. Queen got his first look at Mahomes, and got his first taste of Monday Night Football. It was a bitter experience.

"You don't want to sit and sulk," cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "We have a lot of young guys, so the first thing you have to do is, tomorrow, get back, go watch the film, see what happened; don't be sensitive when you see stuff that happened to you on the plays. Just get in there [and] correct it. Let's fix it, because we have a game in six days, so we don't have time to sit there and sulk about anything.

"We don't have a team of quitters. But this is going to be a learning lesson for everybody who's young on this team - to face a team like that, a champion on our home field, and they came out and played way better than us. They can all take that as a lesson. It's just one game, it's not the Super Bowl. We understand that they're the champions right now, and they played like it."

The Ravens won't see the Chiefs again until January at the earliest. But they will likely face halftime deficits again this season and Baltimore must figure out why falling behind early has been so tough for them to overcome in recent seasons. Since Lamar Jackson became their starting quarterback, they are 0-5 when trailing at halftime.

Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said their game plan against Jackson worked well, but he wouldn't go into specific details.

"You've got to be patient," defensive end Frank Clark said. "For a player that's so fast and so explosive, he can make so many plays. I can't give away too many other secrets because we've got to play this man for the next few years down the road. I'm sure we'll probably see them again this year. That's a great team over there. I felt once we got on them, we [didn't] let up."

The narrative about the Ravens being 0-3 against the Chiefs over the past three seasons will continue, but the Ravens can't change that until they meet Kansas City again.

Winning in September isn't the ultimate goal for any of the Ravens. They hope to build toward playing their best football in January and February.

"I'm not discouraged. I don't think we're discouraged at all," Smith said. "I think the good thing about playing a team like that - that is just hitting on all cylinders right now - is they can show you where we're weak at, and they did. So, we get the chance to go back and fix it."

The Chiefs have left Baltimore and have left the Ravens with plenty of work to do. Defensive end Calais Campbell believes the Ravens will embrace that.

"They played like the best team in the league," Campbell said. "But it's Week 3, there's a lot of football left to be played, and I'm confident that we're going to rebound. We have to earn the right to see them again."

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