After Thursday night's 22-point loss at Denver, quarterback Joe Flacco talked about how the Baltimore Ravens have been beaten like this before and know not to overreact. History says Flacco is correct.
When the Ravens have previously lost by 20 or more points in the John Harbaugh era, Baltimore is 4-0 the following week. That's right. The Ravens are perfect a week after looking flawed.
The Ravens had to bounce back from crushing defeats twice in last year's Super Bowl season. Baltimore followed a 43-13 loss at Houston by beating the Browns 25-15. The Ravens then shook off a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos by downing the New York Giants 33-14.
Why are the Ravens experts when it comes to rebounding from routs? I asked Harbaugh on Monday about how he wants his team to deal with the demoralizing, season-opening loss to the Broncos. Does he want his players to move on? Or does he want them to be ticked off?
"I would say this: I want both," Harbaugh said. "I want them to feel how I feel, but that’s how we all feel. We’re ticked off at ourselves, to use your term. We’re not happy about the way we played, especially in critical situations. Against a good team like that, and all credit to them, but you can’t just hand them points. It’s just not something that you can do. And we did that; we handed them opportunities."
Harbaugh added, "Going forward, we’ve got to improve from that. So, yes, we should be upset about that. We also have to move on from it emotionally, and we have to prepare for the next challenge. It’s just like a play. You can’t carry the last play into the next play. I think we did that a couple times during the game too. Guys carried the last play into the next play and let it complicate things. So we have to not carry the last game emotionally into the next game.”
The Ravens' record is even more impressive after they've lost by double digits in the Harbaugh era. The Ravens are not only 8-0 following games in which they've lost by at least 10 points, but they've won that next game by an average margin of 21.1 points.
Even though this is a new Ravens team, Harbaugh believes the same sense of urgency exists.
"We couldn’t wait to get on the field this afternoon and couldn’t wait for the team meeting," Harbaugh said. "We believe we’re capable of being a very good football team, but we’ve got to make it happen.”