The Baltimore Ravens found themselves in yet another ugly game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts as both teams combined for seven turnovers (Ravens with 3, Colts with 4).
For the Ravens, the offense never found their rhythm, as we’ve seen before, and the much-maligned defense had to pull most of the weight and keep the Ravens in the game against Andrew Luck.
When you check out the stats, it’s easy to see why the Ravens never gained any momentum on offense. The Ravens were an abysmal 1-11 on third down. That is not a pretty number. The Ravens’ inability to sustain drives eventually cost them when the Colts finally capitalized with touchdowns, and the Ravens defense running on fumes. The turnovers obviously didn’t help to balance out the time of possession, which finished in favor of the Colts 38:43 to 21:17.
Not only did turnovers help to kill what little chance the Ravens had in this game, the offensive line turned in their worst performance of the season.
James Hurst, who is filling in for the injured Eugene Monroe at left tackle, was torched all game by Bjorn Werner. Hurst put in a solid relief effort last week against Carolina, but he got exposed against the speed of the Colts’ pass rushers. Hurst was the most obvious offender on the offensive line, but the entire line got pushed back all game and the running game continues to struggle going to the left side. It’s hard to establish a rhythm when your quarterback is running for his life for 60 minutes.
The Ravens need to do a better job of making adjustments. Hurst clearly needed help and yet you rarely saw some extra help in the form of another tight end or running back. Not only that, but it seemed to me that Joe Flacco was under center much more than he typically is throughout a game. He thrives in shotgun, so I’m not sure what the though process was there.
The coaching all around was suspect. The Ravens decided to go for it on 4th and 1 inside the Colts’ five-yard line early on in the second quarter, down 3-0. They ran a play action play that looked to headed for offensive lineman Jah Reid, who reported as an eligible receiver. The play ended up with Flacco sacked. They should have taken the points, but if you DO decide to go for it, you run that play? Come one. Hand the ball off and pick up the one yard.
The lone bright spot of the game was linebacker C.J. Mosley. He was all over the field as usual, making every tackle that came his way. He finished with 15 tackles, and interception, and a big hit on Luck that lead to a Haloti Ngata interception.
Mosley looks like a guy who could eventually take over the title of best linebacker in the league. I know, I know, the guy has only played four games in his NFL career, but he passes the eye test and looks like a future Defensive Player of the Year and strong Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Oh, and check out these stats:
Ray Lewis and C.J. Mosley through their first 5 career NFL games pic.twitter.com/QaNL4jKOU7
— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) October 6, 2014
I’m not saying this guy is Ray Lewis, but he might be Ray Lewis. How’s that for a Monday overreaction?
As poorly as the Ravens played, they yet again had a chance to win the game in the final minutes. That’s the Ravens formula: they can look terrible one minute, then have you on the edge of your seat the next.
The 3-2 Ravens have a nice chance to get back in the win column next week when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the 1-4 Buccaneers.