OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens have taken on a Super Bowl or bust mentality, unwilling to settle for anything short of a Vince Lombardi trophy.
The AFC North champion Ravens (12-4) launch their playoff run next Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the AFC South champion Houston Texans.
"We’ve got a three-game season right now," said strong safety Bernard Pollard, a former Texan who signed a two-year contract with Baltimore in August. "We are a team who is hungry. We can’t settle for anything less than where we are going. The Super Bowl, that’s where we want to go.
"At the end of the day, it’s one game at a time. This is honestly the best team I’ve ever been on. We’re excited as a team, and we’re going to get this thing rolling."
THE TASK AHEAD ~ Quarterback Joe Flacco has won four of his seven career playoff starts.
Only once, though, has he advanced to the AFC championship game. That was during his rookie season when the Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And Flacco has never made it to the Super Bowl.
He’s hoping to change that this year as the second-seeded Ravens (12-4) head into Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens are 5-0 against the Texans, including a 29-14 win earlier this season in Baltimore. And they’re 5-0 against playoff teams this season.
Flacco was asked whether he regards the playoffs as a personal proving ground.
"It’s tough to really think about the results, like what’s going to happen if you do go out and win this game, win the next game, win the Super Bowl," he said. "It’s tough to really think about what people are going to make of it if that happens. It’s our job, it’s my job as a quarterback, to take it one game at a time, and like I said, put our team in the best chance to win a game, or give us the ball with a chance to win the game at the end of the game. And I think that’s all I can do every week, is come in here and do that and play my best.
"I think when it’s all said and done, yeah, playoffs are a big part of what makes great players, but if we were to think of what would happen if we lose, what would happen if we won, then it would make me. It would make our team go out there and play more tentative, because we would be thinking about the results, the fallout of what could possibly happen. And we don’t need to be thinking about that; we need to be thinking on the task ahead, and that’s winning the football game."