MOTIVATION: The Ravens need to defeat the Miami Dolphins to make the playoffs
in addition to Buffalo losing to Pittsburgh, Denver losing to Indianapolis and
Jacksonville losing to Oakland.
Will Indianapolis and Pittsburgh try as hard to win considering their playoff seeding is assured?
"I don't know how you would address a team and say, ‘OK, you guys need to rest, you guys go fight like hell and win this game,'" Billick said.
"They're going to play, they're going to be competitive, they're going to want to win. I have no doubt about that, so they will or they won't."
The Jaguars are the only team vying for the sixth spot that's playing on the road. The Raiders have won only three home games this season.
The Ravens, including Billick, are likely to be avid scoreboard and television watchers Sunday.
"It's going to make for a hell of day of football," Billick said. "I'm going to play our game, we're going to beat the Miami Dolphins, I'm going to stop and get Chinese food on the way home, and sit and watch the rest of those games.
"Like a fan, I'm going to scream and dog-cuss the coaches for not running when they should have thrown and throwing when the should have run, and they should blitz more, and ‘What the hell are you doing, going for it on fourth-and-1 on the 1-yard line?' because I have a vested interest in it, just like our fans do, and it's frustrating as hell."
LITMUS TEST: Billick said he's not concerned with the chemistry of the Ravens' locker room despite players questioning the direction of the team following their fourth loss in the last five games.
"Not the chemistry, the emotion of this team, understand now what this team has been through," Billick said. "You can imagine just how emotional [Sunday] was, how tough it was. In terms of the chemistry of the team, no, I'm not worried about that.
"Frustrations do a lot of things to you. I get frustrated with my wife a lot of times, and it gets strained, but I love her. You deal with that all the time as a team."
COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT: Lewis griped about the Ravens not attempting more isolation plays up the middle against Pittsburgh's top-ranked run defense.
He was limited to 26 yards on 14 carries as Baltimore only registered 71 rushing yards.
"Our ratio of running the ball inside and outside has been pretty good," Billick said. "When we run the ball well, it has been left, right, inside and outside. When we don't run the ball well, it has been right, left, outside and inside and none of it was very good.
"It's easy to come back and say, 'We should have gone to the right more, the inside more, the outside more.' That perception that you have is always something more you could have done is part of the emotional frustration."
RARE MISS: Veteran kicker Matt Stover missed his second consecutive field goal try, hooking a 44-yard attempt wide right.
He had a field goal blocked against the Colts the previous week.
A Pro Bowl alternate, Stover has missed only three kicks this year.
"It's a little unusual for us," Billick said. "It catches you off-guard and it hits you emotionally when Matt has the one blocked in Indianapolis, then yesterday. Things happen. It catches you off-guard because you aren't used to seeing that."
A long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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