quick reaction following the loss on Monday and was pretty heated. I've foll..."/> quick reaction following the loss on Monday and was pretty heated. I've foll..."/>

Who’s To Blame For The Ravens Loss To The Jags?


I shared my quick reaction following the loss on Monday and was pretty heated. I’ve followed the 24 hour rule and let it digest before I wrote anything else about it.

To begin, let’s talk about who’s not to blame. The Ravens defense played lights out. Even though that’s expected when they’re facing an offense led by a rookie quarterback, it should be noted. Allowing only 12 points in the game and just over 200 yards, the Ravens defense did their job and gave the offense more than enough opportunities to win the game. However, those opportunities never became realities as the crippled offense was unable to do positive.

The finger can be pointed at a lot of people. Joe Flacco played terribly, the receivers couldn’t get open, Cam Cameron called a awful game, the O-line was ineffective, special teams made stupid mistakes, Ray Rice fumbled twice, and John Harbaugh made some bonehead coaching decisions. Not to mention it was one of the most poorly officiated game I’ve ever seen.

More after the jump…

To start, the game-plan was awful. The first few drives that accomplished nothing consisted primarily of short passes which became check-downs after no receivers could get open. There came a point where it was obvious that this wasn’t working but Cam Cameron continued to use the same strategy in hopes that something positive would happen. Guess what? Nothing did. Also, Ray Rice having only 13 touches is inexcusable. He’s without a doubt the Ravens best offensive player and one of the leagues most feared weapons. He had two uncharacteristic fumbles but that doesn’t mean you should completely abandon your best player. And draw plays out of the shotgun when it’s third and nine aren’t exactly what I had in mind though (Nice call Cam!).

I still question John Harbaugh’s onside kick decision as did Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski. You would think that a former special teams coach would know what the right thing to do is in that situation. You have the best touch-back kicker in the NFL but you decide to go for an onside kick which has a 20% chance of working. If they kicked it deep and forced a three and out, they would get the ball back between their own 30 or 40 and would only have to go 20 or 30 yards to be in field goal range to win it. After choosing the onside kick, the Ravens got the ball back on their own 20 and needed to travel 80 yards to score and win the game. There’s no way you could have convinced me to try the onside kick and after listened to John Harbaugh’s post game press conference, he gave little reasoning for the decision.

I used to be very tolerant when it came to Joe Flacco but I just can’t take it any more. He’s starting to piss me off beyond all belief. There’s a simple formula in Baltimore: play great defense and score more points than the opposition. If the defense is only allowing 12 points, it shouldn’t be that hard to do the latter, but if you have Joe Flacco at quarterback, nothing is guaranteed. He looks like a little kid out there who has no idea what’s going on. Watching his attempt at a two minute offense was painful. He had to run to the sideline and ask Cam Cameron for every play. This is your forth year. You can’t pull the rookie card anymore. There’s no excuse for not being able to call plays from the line of scrimmage and change things based on what you see. The Ravens were averaging about 30 seconds per play while running the hurry up offense. That’s pathetic. If Joe Flacco wants to be considered an elite quarterback, he’s gotta fix these things.

The other thing that bothered me about him was his expression on the sideline. The Ravens were about to get the ball back with about two minutes left while needing a touchdown to win. Before the offense hit the field, they showed a shot of Flacco sitting there with a complete emotionless look. The rest of the offense was sitting on the bench, staring into space. When I see Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or even Ben Roethlisberger, they’re always engaged and pumping up their teammates, telling them they’re going to win. Not Flacco though. He just nonchalantly walks onto the field and throws and in-completion followed by a pick. Game Over. He could have erased the horrible 58 minutes if he drove down the field and won the game. That’s what separates good and great quarterbacks. Great quarterbacks always find a way to win. I would have been more proud if he won the game at the end than if he completely destroyed the Jags from the get go because it would have showed that he’s resilient and has the will to win no matter what. Now, I’m left with doubt and worries. If the Ravens are ever in a scenario like that again, I’m gonna be feeling pretty uneasy.

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