Ravens lost to Titans because of a lack of heart and discipline

Nov 22, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) scores the game winning touchdown in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) scores the game winning touchdown in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Titans wanted it more than the Ravens did:

The Baltimore Ravens lost their week 11 game to the Tennessee Titans. They fell 30-24 in overtime. They could have won 31-24 if they didn’t have a false start penalty on a potential game-winning play. That was one of six penalties on the Ravens today. That’s the lack of discipline that is shooting them in the foot. That lack of discipline has become a defining characteristic of this team. A team that was supposed to be a contender is a humbling 6-4 squad.

The heart, or lack of heart,  of this team, is a problem. The Titans wanted it more. In overtime the Ravens had Derrick Henry bottled up a couple of times all for nothing. The Ravens didn’t finish the play, Henry beat the Ravens again.

The Titans got the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and it was absolutely embarrassing for the Ravens. It wasn’t embarrassing that the Titans made a play; it was the fact that A.J. Brown carried multiple defenders to the end zone, that was problematic. Will to win. That’s what Brown had there.

It actually doesn’t matter what you call it. You can call it bad tackling technique all you want. Brown should have been tackled there. It’s either that the Ravens were bad at their craft, or they just didn’t dig down deep enough. Either way, it’s bad. Either way, it isn’t acceptable. All the things we’re talking about in the final moments of this game boil down to bad coaching,

Right after that fateful play, the Titans were awarded the easiest two points you’ll ever see scored in the NFL. The Ravens had been broken. Don’t tell me it’s unfair, don’t tell me I am being too harsh on them. The team doesn’t know what resilience is.

Now, I want to make it clear that some players played their hearts out. Lamar Jackson is working his hardest. DeShon Elliott has been very impressive and simply plays like a Raven is supposed to play. Malik Harrison gave an impressive effort. Patrick Mekari is another player who impressed in this aspect. As a collective unit though, this team registers as uninspired.

The team is either not responding to John Harbaugh’s coaching or Harbaugh’s coaching isn’t good enough. Either way, it’s a problem. It’s a problem that can be lost in the facts of the game. The fact that the Ravens were missing two of their best defensive linemen was an issue. The fact that injuries have hindered both sides of the ball and the fact that the Tennessee Titans are a bad team doesn’t matter here.

The defensive line play isn’t why the Ravens lost. In fact, it seems that the defensive line exceeded any rational expectations. The Titans are a good team. A loss to the Titans didn’t have to look this painfully embarrassing for the Ravens. There are bad ways to lose though and Harbaugh’s team found every single one of them.

Vince Lombardi once gave a speech about winning and losing that sums up a key point. It’s something I think about from time to time and I have a copy of that speech hanging in my man cave. This game made me stare at those heavy words. The legendary coach said this:

"“Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing, You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunatley, so is losing.”"

The Ravens have bad habits. In the context of last season, the argument that the Ravens folded every time they were tested is unfair and untrue. This season it is a different team and a different story. They have a habit of going against a good team and coming out with losses. They have a habit of not just losing but losing in a way that is hard to watch.

They got steamrolled by the Kansas City Chiefs. They let things slip away against the Steelers.  They made mistake after mistake against the Patriots. They let go of a lead against the Titans. The Ravens have lost three of their last four games. They are a team that has losing habits and that rang true against the Titans.

The bottom line:

It’s hard to imagine that the 2019 NFL Coach of the Year has lost control of his team in the following season. Is that not what we’re seeing? Penalties are a consistent problem. Dumb mistakes are a consistent problem. There are an awful lot of consistent problems, aren’t there?

Next. 5 things we've learned about the Ravens, 5 things we haven't. dark

Until the Ravens start to change their bad habits, their bad habits will always come back to bite them. It’s that simple. Call it what you will. I call it a lack of discipline and heart.