Ravens Crushed, Still Make Playoffs


Photo by: Hector Acevedo/Zuma Press/Icon SMI

It was an awful showing for the Ravens Sunday who were dismantled by the Broncos 34-17.  It could have been worse if Denver didn’t take their foot off the gas in the 4th quarter.  It also could have been a lot closer if Joe Flacco didn’t make a crucial mistake late in the first half.  In fact, the whole offensive showing was all around bad the entire game.  The Ravens defense did step up more than the score indicates though.

Playing with many of their stars on defense out including Lewis, Pollard, McClain, and Ellerbe.  Suggs made his return to the field with a torn biceps, but was noticeably in pain and it clearly affected his play.  The rest of the defense stepped to hold Denver’s offense to only 10 first half points.  Unfortunately, the offense under new offensive coordinator was near their worse.  The very first drive for Baltimore started so promising.  A good defensive stop and solid Jones punt return put the Raven’s offense in prime field position.  On a third and short, Joe Flacco dove for the first down line.  The only problem is that he coughed up the ball.  His fumbling problems have been devastating the last three weeks.  Baltimore couldn’t manage a first down for most of the first half.  They finally got it going late in the first.  With just under a minute left Joe and the offense drove all the way down the field.  On first and goal it all went downhill though when Flacco threw a pick six.  What should have been a 10-7 game going into halftime quickly changed to a 17-0 deficit.

That was the story of the game.  Baltimore could never recover from that first half mistake.  Give some credit to Denver’s defense who put relentless pressure on the Flacco.  Even late in the game with little to play for, their defense played great man coverage, giving Flacco little to no windows to get throws into.  Luckily, Pittsburgh loss to the Cowboys, securing a spot in the playoffs for Baltimore.  A three game losing streak has given them no momentum to work with, though.  Losing Torrey Smith to a concussion is just another injury concern.  The Ravens have New York next, and finish with the Bengals.  That game could be for the AFC North title.  At 9-5, Baltimore is still in a good position, but they to prove that they can still make some noise in the playoffs.

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