Jimmy Smith: Ravens ‘always believed’ playoffs were possible

It was about a month ago when things were looking pretty bleak for the Baltimore Ravens.

Their starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, was out with a hip injury. Although first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson represented what the team hoped would be a long-term solution at quarterback, pushing him onto the field carried the risk of being too much too soon for the rookie.

‘We knew what kind of talent Lamar had, but when he got under the lights, he really showed us’

Jackson, however, had other ideas. Along with a dominant defense, he helped lead the Ravens to six victories in their last seven games, including Sunday’s 26-24 win against the Cleveland Browns that ended the season and gave Baltimore the AFC North championship.

“They think they know what we’re going to do, so we’re going to have our hands full when they come back.”

‘Anytime you play a team twice, you can’t expect the same thing’

Now, the Ravens get to host the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game. The Ravens scored a 22-10 victory when the teams met on Dec. 22 at Los Angeles.

“Any time you play a team twice, you can’t expect the same thing,” Smith said. “I think they’ve got a feel for us. They think they know what we’re going to do, so we’re going to have our hands full when they come back.”

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