OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh has an opportunity to join some elite company.
If Baltimore beats the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, Harbaugh would reach the postseason for the ninth time. He would become just the 10th coach to make the playoffs in his first 13 seasons, joining Pete Carroll, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Bud Grant, Mike Holmgren, Chuck Knox. Mike McCarthy, Andy Reid and Marty Schottenheimer.
When asked about his New Year's resolution, Harbaugh channeled another Hall-of-Famer.
“I’m going to channel [former Ravens owner] Al Davis on that one," Harbaugh said. "How about this; how about, ‘Just win, baby. Just win, baby.’ But also, I would say just faith. Faith – that would be the other part of that. I think the two go hand-in-hand, actually. Thanks. That’s a great question. Happy 2021 to you, and everybody else, too. It’s going to be a great year – yes. Yes, it is.”
Baltimore closes out the regular season against the Bengals (4-10-1) who have won two consecutive games for the first time this year. The Ravens beat Cincinnati 27-3 in Week 5.
Harbaugh, however, expects to see a tougher, better team in this week's game.
“I don’t think I have to do any selling at all to our guys," Harbaugh said. "Our guys watch the tape. They know the Bengals. We always have tough games against the Bengals – win or lose. I believe our guys always play hard, regardless; it’s just a matter of how well we play. This is going to be a big challenge for us. It’s a division game on the road. It’s a tough place to play, always. We have our hands full, and we have a lot to gain. So, we’re just trying to go to work and be as focused as we can and play as well as we can.”
The Ravens own the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs with one game remaining.
As of now, Baltimore (10-5) would be matched up with the third-seeded Steelers (12-3) in the first round of the postseason. Pittsburgh swept the Ravens in the regular season.