What in the world happened yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium?
A complete and utter throttling by the New England Patriots pretty much ended the season for the Ravens. I know there is a chance the purple and black can make the postseason if they win and so and so losses or if x beats y blah blah blah…
One can even ask themselves if the Ravens even deserve to be in the playoffs. Sure I would love to see them make their sixth consecutive postseason, however this team showed no signs of progress yesterday even after winning four straight games.
The players looked sluggish and showed no sense of urgency. The game plan that Jim Caldwell came up with was perhaps his worst of the season. The coaching decisions were down right questionable at best. The penalties were killers and a red zone defense that is usually stout was anything but.
Head scratchers all-around for me yesterday when it came to the Ravens offensive battle plan. Sure, it was a short week, but that’s no excuse. How does a team with a quarterback who is banged up not exploit a defense that is ranked 31st in league in stopping the run.. I just don’t understand!
On the Ravens’ second offensive series of the game running back Bernard Pierce picked up three yards on second and one to give the Ravens a first down at their own 33-yard line. Instead of utilizing the run game, Baltimore opted for a pass deep right intended for Jacoby Jones that resulted in Joe Flacco’s first interception of the game.
“I probably didn’t have the same burst, but I felt good,” Flacco said after the game. “I felt like I could move on it and run on it and do all kinds of things. It held up really well.”
The Patriots looked like they were shooting fish in a barrel once they got into the offensive backfield. The coaches knew Joe wasn’t able to do much on his bad knee, the fans could clearly see it when he took the field during pregame with a limp, yet the coaches had zero game plan in place to help their franchise quarterback out.
Now, the injury doesn’t excuse Flacco for some of the plays he made – not by any means. His injury didn’t make him throw passes into double coverage and miss wide open receivers.
Bottom line is the entire team was unprepared for this game, from the head coach down to the water boy.
We can all blame this person or that person but the end result is still the same – being unprepared is not a great recipe for December football when your hopes for the postseason are hanging by a thread.
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