Ravens need to take advantage of No. 1 seed

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens are just one of four teams that lost their opening playoff game as the No. 1 seed over the past decade.

That setback happened in 2019, and the Ravens are determined to avoid that disappointment this season.

The other top seeds that lost their first playoff game are the Cowboys (34-31 to the Green Bay Packers in 2016), Titans (19-16 to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021), and the Packers (13-10 to the 49ers in 2021).

After finishing the season a franchise-best 14-2 and earning the top seed in the AFC playoffs in 2019, the Ravens crashed out of the postseason with a 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans at home in the divisional round.

Ravens players and coaches have been continuously asked about that collapse over the past two weeks.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson was playing his second season in the NFL. Although he was named the league’s MVP that year, he acknowledged that his inexperience was a factor in the loss to the Titans.

Now in his sixth year, Jackson is confident that he and the rest of the team will play better this year.

“[The] 2019 [season] is over with,” Jackson said. “We’re always talking about it. I always find myself talking about it, but it’s different. That was just my first full season [starting] in the NFL and my second year in the league at that, but it’s a different mindset. [It’s] a different group of guys. I just feel like all around, we’re different.

“We were 14-2. It looked like we were going to be unbeaten. I felt like all phases were just playing at the top of our game at the time. I don’t know where it was when we just hit a hump. We just couldn’t get it done that January, but I strongly feel like this year it’ll be different.”

The Ravens will play teither he fourth-seeded Houston Texans on Saturday, Januaray 20th at 4:30 p.m. or the seventh-seeded Steelers on January 21st at 6:30 p.m. if Pittsburgh beats the Buffalo Bills in Monday’s game.

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