Baltimore did something they almost never do and lose back to back games. This time they fell to the Redskins in OT after blowing a late fourth quarter lead. The Ravens offense was stout in the first quarter but fell flat the rest of the game. A familiar scene under Cam Cameron’s tenure in Baltimore. The shocking news came after the game when the Ravens fired their offensive coordinator. It is very unusual for a 9-4 team to fire a coach, especially with only 3 games left on the regular season schedule. Baltimore believed the move was necessary, and likely are hoping this move will jumpstart the offense just in time for the playoffs.
The game itself was up and down all over. The Redskins came out firing, scoring easily in their first two drives with the running game taking over. The Ravens answered, scoring in all three of their first drives. each ending with a Joe Flacco TD pass. Everything slowed down from there, with both offenses becoming stagnant. Forbath knocked in a couple of field goals in the third quarter, but that was the extent of the scoring. With only about 5 minutes left, Ray Rice padded the Ravens lead with a 7 yd TD to make it an 8 point game. It looked like they would escape with a win when the kickoff was fumbled and David Reed nearly came up with it. Replay showed he could not control the ball when he went out of bounds and the Redskins retained the ball. They then travel down field to score a TD with only 30 seconds left on the clock. By now, I’m sure most people have seen the highlights of this drive, and they were not pretty. RGIII left with what looked like a gruesome knee injury. He came back to play, but had to leave soon after when he could not support any weight on his leg. Again, it looked like Baltimore lucked out. Fellow rookie QB Kirk Cousins shocked the defense by finding a wide open Garcon to make it a two point game. Why nobody covered the Skins best receiver I’ll never know. He then took the two point conversion play and ran right up the middle for the score.
What happened next infuriated many Ravens fans. They kneed the ball to force an OT. There wasn’t much time left on the clock, but you would have thought Joe would have some sort of shot to at least set up a FG. That was not the case. The Ravens did get the ball in OT first, but did absolutely nothing with the ball and punted. The ensuing punt return ended up putting the Redskins in FG range and sealing the victory for Washington.
It was a tough loss and one that once again showed Cameron could not sustain an offense through four quarters of football. He may not be the only one to blame, but he is the easiest scapegoat at the time. Jim Caldwell will take over who is credited as being Peyton Manning’s mentor for several years. Of course, Peyton likely would have had a great career anyways, so it is hard to guess how he will do taking control of Flacco and the rest of the offense. Time will tell and we will get our first look this Sunday against the Broncos.