The old adage "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" applies perfectly to this year's Baltimore Ravens. They've been through everything … from a Covid-19 outbreak to injuries on the offensive line to a three-game loss where many experts wrote them off for the season.
Despite all of this, the Ravens survived the storm and finished with an 11: 5 record. The adversity they faced made them a tougher team. This is what Raven coach John Harbaugh preaches to his players.
“Everyone understands what it means [tenacity]. It's a little harder to do because so many things conspire against us, stopping, stopping, throwing up your hands [and] not finishing, ”said Harbaugh. "It really doesn't matter about the outcome. It really doesn't matter about the outcome. What matters is how you deal with it, how you approach it [and] whether you hold onto it or not. That is the end, means and our guys have It has done. This has produced great results. Hopefully they will take that with them for the rest of their lives and teach their kids something. "The Ravens won five straight games to end the season and grabbed the number 5 in the AFC – Playoff image. Baltimore's 47:42 win in Week 14 was a catalyst for their rise.
This game is another example of how the ravens fought adversity and prevailed. Lamar Jackson was in the locker room for most of a late ride. Backup quarterback Trace McSorley sustained an injury and Jackson returned to play a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown, who scored 42-35 on the two-point conversion.
All the talk about last week's wildcard matchup against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville was about Baltimore failing to win a playoff game. The narrative mostly focused on Lamar Jackson, who was 2-0 in the playoffs.
Jackson stifled that conversation and led the Ravens to a 20-13 win on the road to advance to the divisional playoffs. The often asked but dynamic playmaker shattered some stories with the victory.
"It's something he doesn't have to talk about in the future and it's a meaningful thing," said Harbaugh after the game.
It was his first playoff win and his first win when he fell 10 or more points. Critics always didn't pick Jackson's game, saying he couldn't throw outside the numbers. Two of his best throws against the Titans were made out of numbers.
But it wasn't just Jackson. The Titans gathered on the Ravens logo in the center of the field before beating Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium between 30 and 24 weeks. The ravens viewed the meeting on the logo as disrespect, although the titans do so before every game.
"I think it was just disrespectful to see what was going on before the game the last time we played these guys and they were on our logo and saw them get there with our coach," said Jackson . “It was just disrespectful because we all treat our opponents with respect. There was no reason for us to shake hands and things like that. We're going to be the bigger guy so we just left the field. I feel like we are the bigger guys. "
It was fitting that after a playful interception, Marcus Peters led a celebration on the Titans logo that left little time on the clock. Peters' actions and how the others followed were, in the opinion of the players, a sign of unity.
“This is an emotional soccer game. Sometimes you act out of emotions, ”said Derek Wolfe, defender of Ravens. “I felt it was a good time to do this – so we did it. It wasn't a disrespectful thing. It was a team unity thing, like we achieved something as a team, so we're going to go out there and get some revenge. "
The next challenge for the ravens will be to travel to Buffalo to fight a divisional battle with the # 2 settled scores. There will be a new form of adversity for Jackson; Snow. Jackson, a native of Florida, has never played in the snow and he hopes it will stay that way.
"I was never allowed to play in the snow except when I first saw snow in Louisville, but we had a snowball fight, so that's completely different from playing in it," Jackson said Tuesday. “Yes, it will definitely be my first time playing soccer in the snow on Saturday, if that is the case. Hopefully not. "