After an impressive 40-0 blowout win over the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens return to usual form with a disappointing loss against the Tennessee Titans.
Oh man… I don’t even know where to start with this game.
This game was an absolute must win in my mind. The Ravens came into the game at 4-4 and right in the thick of the Wild Card hunt. The Titans were 4-3 and also in the thick of things, which makes this loss even harder to swallow (as they now have the edge over Baltimore). The Ravens are mediocre and there’s no sugar-coating it. This may be the most inconsistent team I have ever seen.
The offense should take the most blame (like always).
Abysmal, horrid, putrid. All words used to describe the Ravens offense. Aside from the final scoring drive for the Titans, the defense did everything they could to keep the Ravens in the game. It almost seemed that the offense didn’t want to win until the very last-minute. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and almost a third at the end. Breshad Perriman had his most catches in a game this season but his drops were deadly for the offense, with one resulting in an interception.
Too many times the Ravens defense made a stop just for the offense to turn around and punt the ball away. The run game was slowed down and the entire offense went into its shell to hide. Marty Mornhinweg continues to call awful check down or screen passes on key third downs, resulting in failed conversions. Oh and there’s this…
Let’s just hope something comes from that.
Poor coaching decisions and officiating was the nail in the coffin.
I’m not a fan who blames officiating for my team losing, but there were certainly some questionable calls against the Ravens this game. After the Ravens held the Titans on third down in the red zone, Za’Darius Smith was flagged for unnecessary roughness against QB Marcus Mariota, which gave the Titans a fresh set of downs and eventually a touchdown. I’ll let you decide for yourself if this was unnecessary roughness or not:
On two other occasions when the Ravens decided to go for it on fourth down, the officials marked them just short. Both were challenged by John Harbaugh but only the first was overruled, despite both clearly being first downs. The second instance came at a critical point in the game when the Ravens were down by 10. A field goal here would have forced the game into overtime at the end, which is what I meant by poor coaching decisions. You would’ve thought after last year that John Harbaugh would learn when to take the points in front of him. This bad call by the officials/not taking the field goal would come back to haunt the Ravens as the determining factor in the 23-20 loss.
The bottom line
There were other things which hurt the Ravens, such as a penalty against Tyus Bowser on a punt that was defended beautifully by Chris Moore. The Titans would have had a long field in front of them, but the flag forced the Ravens to punt again. The second punt came off of Sam Koch’s foot the wrong way and went out-of-bounds (a rare mishap by Koch) to give the Titans excellent field position.
The inability to get the run game going really hurt the offense as well. The offensive line struggled even when facing just three pass rushers on passing downs. The Ravens will now go into the bye week at 4-5 looking at themselves in the mirror.