Sports

Ravens expect to bounce back from poor December with a lengthy playoff run

  • Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh reacts to a play in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh reacts to a play in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) laterals the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) laterals the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

The Baltimore Ravens are healthy and rested, qualities they hope will serve them better in the playoffs than the momentum they would have derived from winning the regular-season finale.

Baltimore's 23-17 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday had the feel of a preseason contest, which is appropriate because the Ravens (10-6) consider themselves to be starting anew this Sunday against Chuck Pagano's Indianapolis Colts (11-5).

Coach John Harbaugh said Monday, "It's a whole new season. It all starts fresh. It's the playoffs. We're all 0-0 at this point."

Baltimore sputtered to the finish by losing four of its last five games. The Ravens won at least one playoff game in each of the previous four seasons, but on each occasion they were coming off a victory in the regular-season finale.

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