Ravens Can’t Keep Pace With Chargers

Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Can’t Keep Pace With Chargers

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The Ravens lost to the Chargers  23-17 in the Wild Card Round of the AFC playoffs.

RSR Staff react to the win here …

Todd Karpovich

— The Ravens were having one of the worst offensive performances in franchise history before coming alive late in the fourth quarter. You have to give them credit for showing some fight to the final whistle. The Chargers stacked the box and dared Lamar Jackson to beat them through the air. The rookie could not deliver until the fourth quarter when he threw a pair of touchdown strikes to Michael Crabtree. However, Jackson’s third fumble of the game ended any chance of a comeback.  

— With Jackson struggling, coach John Harbaugh considered making a change but decided to keep veteran quarterback Joe Flacco on the bench. That move will be questioned over the next couple of days. However, the team is committed to Jackson and decided the best course of action was to let him ride it out. Besides, Flacco would have struggled against the Chargers’ aggressive pass rush.  Jackson was sacked seven times. “Everybody was on the same page with what we did … including Joe,” Harbaugh said.

— How badly did this game go for the Ravens? Justin Tucker had a chance to make it a one-score game in the third quarter but his field-goal attempt from 50 yards sailed wide right.  It was the first time Tucker missed a field-goal attempt in the postseason. The Chargers scored on the ensuing possession. 

— A successful season with an AFC North title ended with disappointment. Still, the Ravens created some excitement around the city and M&T Bank was electrified over the final two games. While this loss stings, there is reason for optimism, especially with significant salary cap room this offseason.  

— There are numerous questions surrounding the Ravens heading into the offseason. Flacco will likely be released. Other veterans, such as Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda and Jimmy Smith, also face an uncertain future. There are even questions surrounding Harbaugh and whether he will commit long-term to the franchise.

The offseason will be full of intrigue.  

Chad Racine

— Well it’s really hard to beat a team twice in three weeks. Lamar Jackson’s fumbling has been extremely detrimental and they had little hope in this game with this abysmal offense. This offense was completely figured out which is worrisome for the future. 

Carey  Stevenson

— I left every Lamar Jackson regular season start thinking … This is great, but they are going to have find some semblance of a pass concept to compliment this. At the very least a few shot plays each game. It never came with the consistency necessary and it came back to bite them in the biggest game of the year. 

— We can go through the laundry list of blame but simply put, offense should not look as hard as it looked today. I’ve uttered that statement far too often about Baltimore Ravens football. I’m hopeful I don’t have to use it again but that will require willing scheme evolvement and the exorcising of Draft demons. 

Nick Capecci

— The Chargers were the one team that could match up with the Ravens game plan for one reason, they are the most talented team on defense in the AFC. They used all their pieces in the secondary to quickly disrupt the running game early, and we never could into a rhythm as a result. The offensive line showed their true colors.

The only talent that was ready for the challenge is Yanda (someone who might consider retirement in the offseason), and Stanley who still needs to clean up some things to be top tackle in this league. Everyone else was no match for the mismatches being created with Ingram and Bosa moving inside occasionally.

— The defense once again overachieved, but we can see certain players aren’t who they used to be. Terrell Suggs, Eric Weddle, and Brandon Williams made little impact, and other young players had to pick up the slack as a result. 

— This team will look completely different next season. Harbaugh’s future is up in the air, we might have a completely different offensive coaching staff, and hopefully there will be a great influx of youth into this team. 

— It was a season of growth, and resilience. The Ravens are committed to Jackson, and it will be interesting to see how we carve out this team to match his talent. 

John Darcey

— This is easy, the Ravens brought a knife to a gun fight. This high school/ college  offense does not work in the playoffs or for long in the NFL. 

— This is the future. I hope Ravens fan like it!

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich

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