November 05, 2014

Despite back-to-back losses that have left them at the bottom of the NFL's most competitive division, the Baltimore Ravens haven't lost faith.

The Ravens look to get back on track as they try to hand the visiting Tennessee Titans a third consecutive defeat Sunday.

Baltimore (5-4) sat atop the AFC North two weeks ago, but a three-point loss to Cincinnati and a 43-23 defeat at Pittsburgh last Sunday dropped it into last in a division in which all four teams have winning records - the only one in the league with that distinction.

''Everybody has tough weeks,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''It's going to be a fight to the end. We just got to make sure we're in the fight.

"That starts with moving forward right now, this week, to the next game.''

With Tennessee (2-6), one-win Jacksonville and slumping San Diego still on the schedule, the Ravens have reason to move ahead with confidence.

''We have a lot of pluses,'' Harbaugh said. ''It's not like we're sitting here without good players. Every team has weaknesses. Every team has things they have to scheme around and play around. We'll figure out how to do that.''

He can start with a secondary that was embarrassed by Ben Roethlisberger, who threw six touchdowns. The Ravens allowed a season-high 321 yards through the air and TD passes of 33, 47 and 54 yards.

"We've got to look at what we're doing scheme-wise, and look at what we're doing technique-wise," said Harbaugh, whose team ranks 24th with 263.2 passing yards allowed per game.

"We've got to play better technique. We're not disciplined back there in technique like we need to be. Our eyes are not in the right spot all the time like they need to be."

Still looking for some cohesiveness and likely to be without starting cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot) for a second consecutive game, Harbaugh challenged his defensive backs this week.

''You want to play in that secondary? Step up in practice and play well and step in the game and make plays and be in the right spot,'' he said. ''That's what we're looking for guys to do.''

Tennessee ranks 24th with an average of 219.9 passing yards and comes out of its bye week starting rookie Zach Mettenberger for a second straight contest. Apparently a better option than Jake Locker or Charlie Whitehurst, Mettenberger was 27 of 41 for 299 yards with two TDs and an interception in a 30-16 loss to Houston on Oct. 26.

As poorly as the Ravens have fared against the pass, they are sixth in the league with 86.4 rushing yards allowed per game after holding the Steelers to 55. That doesn't seem to bode well for the Titans, who managed a season-low 36 rushing yards against the Texans and have averaged 60.7 in the last three contests.

Baltimore, however, has its own offensive issues, as Joe Flacco has thrown four TDs and five INTs in his past three games. He was sacked four times last weekend.

"The theme is that we've got to handle pressure," Harbaugh said. "We've got to make people pay for it, run and pass. It's something that's going to be important for us to do.''

Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Bernard Pierce rushed for a combined 61 yards on 17 carries against Pittsburgh, leaving the Ravens' backfield situation murky once again.

The Titans, however, rank 28th with an average of 134.8 rushing yards given up. They allowed Arian Foster to gain 151 of the Texans' 212.

''You've heard this phrase, `You are what your record is,' and that's what we were the first eight games,'' coach Ken Whisenhunt said. ''But that doesn't mean that's what we have to be over the next eight, and that's the way we're going to approach it.

"We understand we have areas that we haven't played well, and we've got to focus on getting better in those areas.''

Titans' offensive tackle Taylor Lewan could make his fourth straight start. The rookie pleaded guilty last week to being drunk and disorderly in a plea deal, which left him on probation for an incident last year.

Flacco threw two interceptions and his team's only touchdown in Baltimore's most recent meeting with Tennessee, a 26-13 road defeat Sept. 18, 2011.

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