WASHINGTON — The Baltimore Ravens dropped five spots to No. 17 in the ESPN Power Rankings after Week 2, owning a 0-2 record for the first time under head coach John Harbaugh.
If the Ravens fall this week to the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore will have its first-ever 0-3 start in the team’s 20-year existence.
“Every game is a fight,” Harbaugh said at a press conference Wednesday in Baltimore before Ravens practice.
Teams with a rocky start have an estimated 12 percent chance of making it to the postseason, according to the Washington Post.
“We can’t afford to panic,” Ravens’ defensive lineman Chris Canty said Wednesday during a locker room interview with reporters.
Along with the Ravens, there are eight other teams that are in 0-2 slumps going into Week 3: the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.
The Ravens will face their first AFC North game this season against the Bengals in their home opener Sunday.
The Bengals have a 2-0 record and have shown their dominance against the Ravens in their last three matchups. Baltimore hasn’t beaten the Bengals since November 2013.
“You always have in the back of your mind, ‘Can we win a game?’ Of course you can,” Harbaugh said. “But you got to win one.”
The Ravens need to step up their game after their first two losses. The Oakland Raiders had an atrocious 3-13 record last season, but during their contest with Baltimore last Sunday, the Raiders prevailed 37-33.
But there is still hope for the Ravens.
Baltimore has had three previous 0-2 starts but ended its losing streaks each time at Game 3: in 1999 against the Cleveland Browns, in 2002 the Denver Broncos and in 2005 against the New York Jets.
And note this: since 1990, NFL teams that started 0-2 ended up making the playoffs 24 times.
For example, the New England Patriots have had 0-2 records three times (1994, 1996, 2001) and the Pittsburgh Steelers have had 0-2 records twice (1993, 2002).
“We’re professionals,” Canty said. “We understand what our jobs are and we understand we have to execute better in order to earn the opportunity to win games.”
The Ravens will have their chance to bounce back when they play the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on CBS.