Ravens Loss A Total Team "Effort"

Complain all you want about the ineffectiveness of the Baltimore Ravens offense in only putting up touchdowns at the beginning and end of their 34-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers last night on prime time television, but when your defense give up scores on six of the opponent's first seven possessions, it's going to be tough for any offense.

If you missed the game and only looked at QB Joe Flacco's statistics from the game and saw his 23-34 performance with two touchdowns but two interceptions and his 81.3 QB Rating, you might even think the Ravens made it close or even won the game. However, when you take a gander across the field at Chargers QB Philip Rivers game stats, you see why San Diego blew out Baltimore. Rivers finished 17 of 23 for 270 yards and one TD, with a QB Rating of a close to perfect 127.

The Ravens supposedly stingy defense gave up an astounding 415 yards of total offense, including an eye-opening 11.7 yards per pass attempt by Rivers. The league-leading sack team in the league could not get to the San Diego signal-caller not even one time, as former Ravens tackle Jared Gaither had the last laugh against his former teammates.

Rookie CB Jimmy Smith and especially Cary Wiliams were burned repeatedly by the Chargers veteran wideouts, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, who caught eight passes between them for 180 yards, averaging 22 yards per catch. For whatever reason, Ravens safety Ed Reed was invisible and made no impact whatsoever and other than his two interceptions on opening day of the 2011 season versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, has picked off only one pass since then.

Blame Flacco all you want but when your defense gives up 34 points, it's hard to compensate and respond. The Ravens are in the playoffs and once you get in, anything can happen. However, a win would have made a huge difference in the feelings and confidence of all Ravens fans. Football is the ultimate team game and the blame for this loss was a complete team "effort" and should be "shared" by everyone who stepped on the field.

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