The Baltimore Ravens didn’t get the job done against the Tennessee Titans. Their season is over and it’s time to reflect. There are three big things to dive into here. First, we have to talk about the mistakes the Ravens made:
1. John Harbaugh had one of his worst showings as a coach:
Before we get into the bevy of mistakes that the players made, let’s get into the mistakes that were made by the coaching staff. Lamar Jackson had 59 passing attempts in this game. It’s important to remember that some of his 20 rushing attempts came on scrambles so the offense was completely unbalanced. The Ravens put everything on their second year quarterback. He had 365 yards in the air and 143 yards on the ground. Jackson was the MVP all season long, but not because he was a one man show.
This game never had to get out of hand. When the Ravens came into the third quarter they got the football with a 14-6 deficit to overcome. The Ravens failure to get the necessary yard on the second fourth down attempt was when this game started to get away from the Ravens. It’s hard to fault John Harbaugh for that though, seeing as that was who the Ravens were all season, fourth down gamblers. The Ravens were deep into Tennessee territory and they should have been able to get the job done.
The fourth down attempt that was a mistake was earlier in the game when they did it shy of the 50 yard line. Punting the ball would have given the Titans a long field. Instead, a “you knew it was coming” shot play put the Titans further ahead. That stop allowed Tennessee to take momentum that they were never going to give back to Baltimore. Later in the game Harbaugh mismanaged every situation and the hill that the Ravens had to climb became too steep.
Jackson does deserve some blame for turning the ball over three times in his second consecutive postseason. It wasn’t his best day, despite high statistical totals. He had some misfires and he made mistakes that absolutely crushed the Ravens. Jackson gets some blame for this but don’t pretend this was all on him.
The tight ends and receivers dropped passes all night long. Mark Andrews couldn’t catch a pass on the first possession of the game and it resulted in an interception. The defense missed tackles. There were multiple instances where the Ravens had plays seemingly stopped in the backfield before it became a long run down the field. The Ravens allowed nearly 200 yards on the ground. This was an embarrassing day for the purple and black because it really felt like they just didn’t show up.
More than anything the blame goes onto the coaching staff. The Ravens were unprepared for this game. The team didn’t play sharp or disciplined. If there was a good game plan, it got buried under a bunch of panic. The Ravens acted like they were just a bit off and they were chasing something all night. They never quite felt like themselves. When the train fell off of the tracks, Harbaugh made all of the wrong decisions. The team looked lost. That’s ultimately on the head coach.