The Ravens couldn’t pull off their second straight second-half comeback win, falling 23-17 to the Patriots. RSR staff react to the loss here…
The Patriots were running the ball down the Ravens’ throats at an alarming clip. Then Brandon Williams got hurt and the floodgates really opened. Unable to stop Damien Harris at all, the Ravens fell behind, and Lamar Jackson‘s ill-advised (read: DUMB) interception to end the first half when Justin Tucker was well in range for a game-tying field goal loomed larger and larger as the game went on.
Discipline was still a problem (I don’t have the penalty count in front of me, but it was a lot, including the obligatory illegal formation), the injuries continued to mount, and just when it looked like the Ravens might have a glimmer of hope, even the weather gods laughed, unleashing the most torrential downpour of the evening (it had mostly stopped by the time the post-game interviews were happening).
Here’s a question: If you run your entire offense out of shotgun/pistol, don’t you want a center that can make that snap consistently? Sure, the weather was rough, but Matt Skura did the same thing last week. Tonight, his poor snaps foiled a 4th-and-1 attempt and cost the team 16 yards on 1st down after they had started moving the right direction eyeing the late comeback.
Prayers up for Nick Boyle, the latest casualty of a nasty-looking injury. As for the aforementioned problems stopping the run…Derrick Henry looms. Wonderful. Calais Campbell, Williams, and L.J. Fort need to find their way back onto the field.
I guess we can really start lowering our hopes of Dez Bryant making a difference at all, eh?
Finally, insult to injury…both of the Ravens’ record streaks were snapped: consecutive games scoring 20+ points and consecutive games with a takeaway.
FRUSTRATING!!! Injuries, bad snaps, inability to stop the run and moments I wanted to smash my TV.
The Ravens need to get it together rather quickly if they want to be a contender in the playoffs. Losing Boyle is a nightmare and alters the offense significantly.
A lot went wrong in this incredibly frustrating, somewhat indescribable loss, but there’s a few quick notes I want to make before unplugging for the night:
— In my opinion, Lamar Jackson actually played very well. He was asked to do a ton and outside of the interception made smart decisions in a really difficult environment. You really can’t place any blame on him tonight.
— The defense missed Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams dearly, but don’t overlook the absence of L.J. Fort. The linebackers were taken out of the run defense on so many plays, but I feel strongly that he would’ve kept everything at the second level in line.
— Matt Skura really has to figure out what’s going on with these snaps, man. They’re becoming a constant problem that Jackson is contending with on nearly every play; it totally throws off his rhythm. I know there were awful conditions and he has a cut, but he’s a pro. The 2nd and 26 doomed Baltimore late, and this has to stop.
What can you say? This was Murphy’s Law at its finest. The injuries continue to pile up, the defense couldn’t get a stop for three quarters, and the offense was streaky thanks to drops, bad snaps (Skura trending the wrong way), bad decisions by Lamar, penalties and some lackluster play calling.
Weather didn’t help, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we placed majority blame on rain and wind.
Losing to an inferior opponent is just the tip of the melting iceberg for the Ravens though. With so many major injuries (Stanley, Phillips, Boyle, Campbell, Williams, Smith, Young & a bunch of role players), a three-game hole in the AFC North, and some stiff competition coming up, we could be looking at a team that’s barely staying afloat around .500, more than a true playoff contender.
2020 is turning into a nightmare scenario in Baltimore & barring a miracle, I’m not sure how optimistic we can be when looking ahead to the postseason.
– To quote the great Cole Jackson, “If anyone blames this loss on Lamar Jackson I’m going to flying drop kick you off a balcony.” The issues obviously extend past Jackson. His center can’t give him a consistent and clean snap, his offensive line is banged up and missing multiple starters, and his weapons can’t get open.
– It was encouraging to see the defense come alive finally near the end with two stops in the fourth quarter. Of course, Damien Harris ran wild all day long until then, and if Brandon Williams’ injury makes him miss more than this week I am not looking forward to facing Derrick Henry with that run defense.
– More on Matt Skura, there’s no way he can be the starter the rest of the way, is there? If he is, I’m taking bets on what the excuse for the snaps will be next week. Last week it was the cuts on his hand, this time John Harbaugh blamed the rain. What next???