Cats Scratch Ravens, 36-21

Knee-Jerk Reactions Cats Scratch Ravens, 36-21

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The Ravens fell to the Carolina Panthers, 36-21 in Week 8. RSR staff react to the loss here…

Todd Karpovich

— A completely embarrassing effort by the Ravens. They were completely dominated in all three facets of the game: outcoached, outplayed and outworked.

— Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco had the worst performance of his season, completing just 22 of 39 passes for 192 yards with two interceptions and a passer rating was 56.8. Flacco was benched late in the fourth quarter for Lamar Jackson, who threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Hayden Hurst to round out the scoring.

C.J. Mosley might have had the worst game of his career and looked lost at times. The Ravens are 1-3 with Jimmy Smith back in the lineup and have lost both of the games he started.

— Baltimore now faces a must-win game next week against Pittsburgh to keep pace in the AFC North. A loss would be devastating to their playoff chances.

Even if the Ravens win, they will have another must-win game against the Bengals after the bye. Not exactly a rosy outlook.

Derek Arnold

I’ll admit it – I was taken in by Eric Weddle‘s “this ain’t the same Ravens” statements. He had me fooled. However, after yet another signature John Harbaugh road stinker, there can be no doubt – these ARE in fact, the same old Ravens.

Out-played. Thoroughly out-coached to a depressing degree. Out-schemed, out-manned, and out-maneuvered.

Up 7-0. Another 3rd-and-1 situation with a QB that’s unstoppable on sneaks. Better bring in Lamar Jackson! And then after failing to get it, somehow getting called for an illegal shift on the would-be successful fake punt? Just flat out embarrassing.

Giving up 24 unanswered first-half points? I don’t care if every bounce was going the Panthers’ way (it was)…an “elite” defense just doesn’t do that.

I’ll say this – if there was anything at all satisfying about this game, it was former Maryland Terrapin D.J. Moore – whom many Ravens fans, including myself, wanted the team to draft – running roughshod over the defense.

It appears Harbs has choked away yet another solid start to the season, and while I do expect a nice bounce-back against Pittsburgh in a week, a 6-2 second half of the campaign looks extremely unlikely.

Chad Racine

This was about as ugly a game as you could imagine. The Ravens were outclassed in every aspect today and it only got worse as the game went on. You are what your record says you are and the Ravens are a 4-4 team. That won’t be good enough to make the playoffs and the schedule doesn’t get any easier.

Hopefully, they will be greatly motivated against the Steelers next week. A loss next week would be detrimental to their playoff aspirations. The bye week can’t get here quick enough now as they need a week off not only for injury purposes but to reset mentally as well.

John Darcey

Does anyone remember in Rocky II, when Apollo Creed got hate mail from fans calling him a paper champ? That is exactly what this defense is. When they play quality teams and quality QBs, they get exposed. Sure, they beat up and stat-padded against the Bills, Titans and Browns, but have got exposed for what they are against the Saints, Panthers and Bengals: an average defense. Did Cam Newton get touched all day? No pressure at all on the QB.

When the Ravens front office, coaches and fans realize that C.J. Mosley is an average two-down linebacker and Jimmy Smith is not a shut down corner, they’ll all be better off. Mosley is a liability in coverage and plays well at times but is just average at best. No way should the Ravens break the bank on him. Smith, good God, what happened to you? He is not a shut-down corner by any means and it might be hard to argue he is the best corner on this team when Marlon Humphrey is healthy.

Speaking of defense, was the $52.5M paid to Brandon Williams worth it? What impact does he have in any game?

Now lets get to the offense and good ole Marty! The Ravens threw 44 times today and Alex Collins got just 11 touches! And he averaged 4.5 a run!!! Buck Allen got no carries at all. Yes, they fell behind early, but as usual he abandoned the run game in the first quarter. Something has to change. In my opinion there is too much talent on this offense and it is not being used correctly.

I am calling it now, Marty gets fired either tomorrow morning or next Monday after the Pittsburgh game before the bye. Greg Roman will be this team’s OC within the next 2 weeks.

One last thing watching this game – the play of D.J. Moore and what could have been. The Ravens could have had him or Derwin James in the first round but decided to keep trading down and draft Hayden Hurst. While Hurst missed a number of games, Mark Andrews seems like a really good offensive option for a 3rd round pick. Hurst as done nothing spectacular thus far and missed a big block today which lead to a sack and dropped a ball on the goal line that hit him in the chest. And before I get called out for his late TD, does anyone really think the Panthers were playing defense that last drive?

Sadly, between this week and last, this season is heading down the wrong road!

Nick Capecci

I think a lot of Ravens fans saw what this team really is. A lot of hype, but full of massive let down. There’s a point where Ravens coaches have to held accountable for their inability to make adjustments to what the other team is giving them. The offensive scheme doesn’t work in today’s NFL. Not creative, versatile, or lethal enough.

The defense is solid, but it needs to make a few changes. For most of the season, their structure has been picked apart. The defensive line can’t all be run stuffers, you have to create interior pressure (look at players like Kansas City’s Chris Jones, or the greatness of Aaron Donald). 

The linebacking corps at times is asked to do too much, Mosley looks lost on a lot of plays because he has too much to worry about, and Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor don’t make enough plays and are just cleanup men. Certain players just don’t make enough plays for the money they are making, guys like Brandon Williams, Tony Jefferson, and Brandon Carr are just more names at this point than production.

The Offensive line needs a massive overhaul, especially with the dwindling years of Hall of gamer Marshal Yanda in front of us. At this point, barring a complete miracle, the Ravens season is done. There’s a point where Eric Decosta needs to think about next year, and he he wants to change the roster for the future. The one positive from this game, is Lamar Jackson. When he enters the game, defenses wake up. They change their approach, and it makes the offense dangerous. That throw to Hurst for the score was the type of throw Lamar didn’t make in the preseason that he will only get better at.

Ravens fans should look forward to seeing that next year.

Carey Stevenson

Coming into this game the Panthers had the NFL’s 3rd lowest percentage of pressures allowed and man did was this the prevailing stat in this one as the Ravens barely breathed on Cam Newton all day. Carolina was clearly the more prepared and better coached team today, which is concerning for a coaching staff who can’t afford another mediocre season. 

Eight games left for them to prove this isn’t the “same ole Ravens”.

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