Ravens want to prove they’re best team in NFL

OWINGS MILLS — Lamar Jackson has no problem with the Ravens being viewed as underdogs for the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.

He prefers that role.

“I’m cool [with it]. I don’t want them to pick us,” Jackson said. “I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we’re doubted and [when] people aren’t choosing us to win the game. I feel like we play better all the time, so just do it all the way to February. That’s all I ask.” 

The 5-point spread is the second-largest underdog role of Jackson’s six-year career. He was a 7-point underdog against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.

Jackson is 9-4 when the Ravens entered a game as an underdog.

Jackson likes to joke around when he typically meets with the media on Wednesday. However, he appeared much more serious this week.

“I’d say we’re locked in,” Jackson said. “I believe we just had a great practice today. Our guys just aren’t peeking ahead. We’re still focusing on keeping it one game at a time, and that’s what we’re doing right now.” 

Both the Ravens and 49ers are 11-3 and currently own the top seed for the playoffs in their respective conference.

Statistically, the teams are even on both sides of the ball.

Nonetheless, the 49ers are 5-point favorites.

“I was a little surprised at that,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said about the spread. “That hurt my feelings a little bit. I was surprised to see that, but I definitely want to make that be incorrect, for sure. Hopefully, some people lose some money betting with them and make some money betting with us. That’d be great.” 

Other players thought it was disrespectful being underdogs by almost a touchdown.

The Ravens have been the most dominant team in the AFC.

The players are ready to show the rest of the nation they are the best team in the NFL.

“Internally, we don’t feel that way,” safety Kyle Hamilton said. “Externally, I don’t know what it is, whether it’s … I don’t know what it is, but whether it’s the lack of primetime games that we’ve gotten or whatever … I think the [teams with an] 11-3 [record] are not created equal right now, in terms of the 49ers versus us, and we feel a little disrespected by that.

“I feel like we are the best team in the league, and we have an opportunity in front of the country to show it.” 

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