Ravens Need to Avoid Trend of Falling Behind Early in Postseason

Baltimore has trailed by double-digits in past two playoff games.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Over the last two losses in the postseason, the Ravens fell behind by double-digits early in the game and never fully recovered.

Baltimore needs to avoid that trap in the wild-card game against the Titans on Jan. 10 in Nashville.

"The circumstances are different, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Every situation every year is a little bit different. You just try to take it as you find it, and then you just try to do the best thing for your team at that time. Your team is never in the same place, and the circumstances are never quite the same."

In the 2018 season, the Ravens trailed 12-0 to the Chargers en route to a 23-17 loss in the wild-card round. Baltimore quarterback Lamar completed 14 of 29 passes for 194 yards with two touchdowns and an interception (78.8 quarterback rating). Jackson was also held to 54 yards on nine carries.

Last season, Baltimore faced a 14-0 deficit to the Titans and were never in the game in the 28-12 setback. Jackson attempted 59 passes to try and get the Ravens back on track but had three turnovers — two interceptions and a lost fumble — and was sacked four times.

“I don’t really want to say we panicked; I’ll say, we tried to score points faster, and that’s when we had more mistakes – just trying to rush things," Jackson said. "That’s all it was. I don’t feel we ever panicked. We don’t like being down, so we’re going to want to attack even more, but we don’t need to. We need to just stay with the things we’ve been doing. 

"But we’ll be fine. We don’t want to dwell on what happened before, because we’re focused on Sunday. It is what it is in the past. We can’t do anything about it now, really. And we’ve just got to focus on what’s going on Sunday, and we should be fine – I said it before.”

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman also dismissed the idea that the Ravens panicked. Baltimore racked up 530 yards against the Titans but were just 1 of 4 in the red zone and 0 for 4 on fourth down. 

"You’re definitely trying to get points on the board," Roman said. "And last year’s playoff game was really … We did a great job with controlling the ball, extending drives. We just didn’t finish drives; we turned the ball over, [and] we gave it over on downs. We just didn’t get the points. I think we had like 530 yards. 

"So, the plan was good, except for what? We didn’t score points to back up all the yards. If we had converted some of those long drives into touchdowns, it would have been a whole different story; but that’s the story every week." 

Baltimore is looking to flip the script this year against Tennessee. The Ravens are not going to shy away from being aggressive. 

"That’s why our No. 1 goal on offense is to win the game," Roman said. "And how do you do that? You must first score points. So, whether you’re ahead or behind, it’s a little bit different, but it’s just something you’ve got to gauge during the game. It comes down to execution.”