The Baltimore Ravens. A team that on defense can’t stop the run or pressure a QB, has a kicker that can’t make a clutch field goals, and an offense that is stuck making up for all of their holes.
Two weeks ago on our podcast, Aaron Wilson said that he thinks the Ravens are an 8-8 team without a playoff chance. After their win over the Broncos I thought he was wrong. Now I’m back to questioning how good this Baltimore team is.
Here are my thoughts from the Ravens 17-7 loss to the Bengals.
- Secondary woes yet again – Different week, same weakness. Domonique Foxworth might be the best cornerback on the team, but he gives too much room to good wide receivers and can’t tackle. Fabian Washington missed an interception in the first quarter and he was called for pass interference on a crucial 4th and 2. Dawan Landry was called for pass interference on a play that overturned a fumble in the first quarter. Ed Reed missed a couple tackles as well.
- No pressure up front – I knew it would be a long day without Haloti Ngata, but Trevor Pryce, Kelly Gregg, and Terrell Suggs were virtually non-existent in this week’s loss. Carson Palmer was far too comfortable in the pocket. He was practically camping out during his first touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell. Let’s not forget that Cedric Benson rushed for 117 yards, his second 100+ yard game against the Ravens this season.
- Defense killed Offense – Or something like that. In the first quarter the Ravens offense was on the field just 4 minutes 11 seconds. In the first half that total was just 8:26 compared the Bengals 21:34. It evened out a little more by the end of the game, but all day the Ravens offense was trying to make up for the D being on the field too long. They used 2 timeouts in the first quarter, and Joe Flacco forced two interceptions (could have been at least 2 more) while trying to make big plays. Flacco has thrown seven picks this season, two have been caught by the Bengals’ Johnathan Josesph. Baltimore’s offense converted one of their ten third downs.
- Hauschka chokes again – Now listen. I’m in no way saying that the kicker blew the game. What I’m saying is that he’s had two pressure kicks and he’s missed both of them. You can’t miss a 38 yard field goal when you’re team is trying to drive back from a deficit. It’s alarming to me that Steve Hauschka missed a 44 yarder inside against the Vikings and now a 38 yarder in 50 degree weather against the Bengals.
- Webb continues to impress – Lardarius Webb broke a return for 33 yards, but his role on defense was particularly important. He threw a big hit on Cedric Benson in the 2nd quarter, broke up a pass to Laveranues Coles, and played receivers close when Washington went down. While Chris Carr looked shaky, Webb looked solid in the secondary.
- Ray Rice is a playmaker – He didn’t have enough time to show it today, but Ray Rice is the real deal. He scored the Ravens only touchdown and never gave up all day.
This isn’t a playoff team. In fact, I don’t see how they can win many more games at all if they play like this. The Ravens need to show up big next week, thankfully they play the Browns.