John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens are currently reaping the rewards of their impressive regular season performance, holding the coveted AFC’s No. 1 seed and earning a valuable first-round bye in the NFL playoffs.
In a grueling and demanding NFL season, the opportunity to rejuvenate and recharge before the postseason kicks off is a significant advantage. However, what has truly bolstered the Ravens during this downtime while other AFC teams battle it out?
Harbaugh spoke out about the team’s Wild Card bye in a recent interview.
“I think it was good, just from the mental standpoint, also certainly the recovery standpoint. I mean, it’s late season of a long season, we had a lot of very physical games down the stretch, and they were all every one of our games was a meaningful game for us and for our opponent until the last one. Most of our guys played so I think the mental rest was valuable, you work hard to get that bye, I don’t think anybody’s ever requested not to have the bye when they earned it, so it’s definitely a positive. I think our guys looked at it that way and we had a really good week of practice so we did we need to do.”
Baltimore, boasting the best regular-season record in the league at 13-4, enjoys the luxury of an extra week of rest. Additionally, there’s the exciting prospect of All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews potentially returning for the Divisional Round.
Despite Andrews’ absence, Lamar Jackson and the offense have performed admirably, with second-year tight end Isaiah Likely stepping up. The thought of having both Andrews and Likely on the field in the playoffs is undoubtedly enticing for offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
For now, the Ravens and John Harbaugh are diligently preparing both mentally and physically for their Super Bowl quest, fully capitalizing on the rewards of their outstanding regular season.
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