With a resounding victory against the Miami Dolphins by a score of 56-19 on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens secured the first seed in the American Football Conference (AFC). As a result, they have nothing to gain from their last regular-season game on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are currently ranked 9-7.For the first weekend of the 2024 season, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh, has not yet made a decision regarding how he will manage his first-choice players.
On Monday, Harbaugh provided an explanation, which was reported by Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “I have not made any decisions on personnel yet,” Harbaugh claimed. “We have to sort of work through the injury part of it first,” the speaker said. In order for us to get a true hold on that, it will probably take us between twenty-four and forty-eight hours, and then we will make those decisions. We are not going to keep this news to ourselves. After we have begun our practice, we will communicate to you what it is that we intend to perform.
Williams said that Harbaugh did not start Lamar Jackson, who is widely considered to be the most valuable player in the NFL in 2023, along with other key starters for the final game of the regular season in 2019, despite the fact that Baltimore had nothing to “win” in that game. The Ravens were eliminated from the playoffs in January of 2020, making them a one-and-done candidate.
As a point of comparison, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk mentioned that Dan Campbell, the head coach of the Detroit Lions, announced on Monday that he will not relax his starting lineup for the upcoming regular-season finale of his team, despite the fact that Detroit can only advance to the No. 2 seed in the National Football Conference. In his explanation, Campbell stated that he wants his guys to be focused and “ready to roll” before the playoffs begin.
Interestingly, the game that will take place at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon is a very important one for Pittsburgh. According to the website of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Steelers have the potential to return to the playoffs if they win in Baltimore and the Miami Dolphins (11-5) defeat the Buffalo Bills (10-6), or if the Tennessee Titans (5-11) defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7) in Week 18. These are only some of the possible outcomes.
To summarize, it is possible that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will want to offer Harbaugh a late Christmas present sooner rather than later when the time comes.