JACKSONVILLE – Three games remain.
And while it's likely the Jaguars' goals will be pretty much the same in each of the final three games of the 2014 regular season, the objective Sunday will be particularly difficult to attain.
That's because the opponent is the Baltimore Ravens, a team that not only is experienced and fighting for the playoffs, but a very physical team that loves to play that way.
"This game, it's going to be truly like we said a couple of games ago … a battle of wills," Head Coach Gus Bradley said as the Jaguars (2-11) prepared to play the Ravens (8-5) at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, Sunday at 1 p.m. "They want to run the ball and attack us and defensively we have to have that mindset."
The Ravens rank No. 4 in the NFL in rushing, and No. 4 defensively against the run. They have a dominant offensive line, and former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Joe Flacco at quarterback. They also have a defense that features the NFL's sacks leader, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, whose 16 sacks are a franchise record.
The Ravens remain in contention for the AFC North title. If they win their three remaining games against the Jaguars, Texans and Browns they will qualify for the postseason for a sixth time in seven years.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, have lost five of six games since a Week 7 victory over Cleveland, and twice in the last three games have let close games turn into one-sided losses in the second half. The Jaguars trailed AFC South-leading Indianapolis 6-3 at halftime before losing, 23-3, three weeks ago. They lost to Houston, 27-13, last week after leading 13-10 at halftime.
"My hope is that we go out there and compete our tails off; that we go up there with a mentality and we're aggressive, we have no fear, we go up there in attack mindset," Bradley said. "I think that mentality where we go out there and battle every play … we really need consistency. … I would like to see more consistency really from our whole team, especially this weekend."
The Jaguars enter the weekend with three players having been ruled out, including starting running back Denard Robinson (foot), linebacker Khairi Fortt (hamstring) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin). Toby Gerhart, a starter in the first five games of the season, likely will start at running back with rookie Storm Johnson – the Week 6 starter at Tennessee – also getting extensive snaps at running back.
Here's a look at this week's Jaguars-Ravens coverage on jaguars.com.
Gus Bradley Press Conference: Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley wraps up his team's work week in preparation for Sunday's match-up with Baltimore.