Many at fault for Baltimore Ravens disappointing season-ending loss
Some harsh truths:
This part may anger some of you but that’s tough. Lamar Jackson wasn’t good enough to win Saturday night either. He was inaccurate throughout the contest and turned the ball over three times. In eight playoff quarters, Jackson has five turnovers and three total touchdowns. He’s 23-years old and continuing to grow. It’s okay that he struggled. It doesn’t mean I think he sucks or that he can’t figure it out. It’s simply factual that he needs to be better in big moments for this team to get where they want to go.
Jackson was also plagued by drops. It was evident this team doesn’t have the wide receiver group needed for this offense to take a step towards being more balanced. When you run so well, the overall lack of balance is manageable over a 16 game season. But in a must-win game when you fall behind the eight ball, that running game is obsolete. The offensive line was dominated for the first time all year Saturday night. The Baltimore Ravens had one sack and four quarterback hits. They got nothing from their return game.
Some of these problems have existed all year but have been masked by the fact that the Ravens had trailed for just 49 minutes over the last 12 weeks. The playoffs are different. Weird things happen, things go wrong, and you have to find other ways to get things done. The Ravens were pushed for the first time all season in a must-win game Saturday night and they couldn’t handle it.
The Ravens spent the whole year being the chasee not the chaser. And when they were forced to switch roles Saturday night, they crumbled in spectacular fashion. It was a team failure from the players to the coaching staff. The future looks bright in Baltimore but this was a huge missed opportunity. 14-2 seasons aren’t commonplace. Furthermore, they don’t guarantee you anything come playoff time no matter how many times I was told I was wrong about that. We’ve had some good teams around here but never was the AFC running through Charm City.
In the end, the 2019 Baltimore Ravens season will go down as a fun one. In some ways it was historical. But at the end of the day, it was a reminder that on Any Given Sunday (Saturday) in this case, your playoff dreams can be gone in the blink of an eye.