Monday, December 30, 2013
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Super Bowl champ Ravens fail to make playoffs

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[December 30, 2013]  (Reuters)  The reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have missed the NFL playoffs, ending a run of five consecutive appearances in the postseason.

Baltimore's season limped to a disappointing end when the Ravens were beaten 34-17 at the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Ravens became the latest in a line of Super Bowl champions who failed to earn a playoff spot the following season.

The New York Giants did not make the playoffs last season in their Super Bowl defense, while the Pittsburgh Steelers came up short the season after going all the way in Super Bowls for the 2005 and 2008 seasons.

The New England Patriots were the last team to win consecutive Super Bowls, winning for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

The Ravens never really got on track this season. After winning two of their first three games, they lost five of their next seven with all five defeats by a touchdown or less.

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They recovered with four consecutive victories to get into playoff contention, before closing out their season with two straight losses to finish the campaign 8-8.

Although 6-2 at home, they were only 2-6 in road games.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Gene Cherry)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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