What the Ravens said following the Bengals loss

Joe Flacco said that the Ravens didn't deserve to reach the postseason after finishing 8-8. - Andy Lyons

Here's a quote roundup from Sunday's 34-17 loss to Cincinnati.

Here's what various Ravens players had to say after Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Bengals (courtesy of Cincinnati's public relations department):

Joe Flacco

On not converting red zone opportunities: "They're a good defense. I mean, there's no doubt about that. We tried to pop some runs in there and it looked like we had some room, but we weren't hitting for touchdowns and then we were just putting ourselves in third down situations and we're not scoring on them. I'd have to go back and look at the film to remember exactly what happened, but basically, we're just not getting enough yards on first and second down and not scoring touchdowns on first and second down, either. We're playing the game and putting ourselves in third down situations where we have to score touchdowns and we haven't been able to do it."

On not going to the playoffs for the first time in his career: "It’s tough. It’s disappointing. But we’re an 8-8 football team — we don’t deserve to be there. It just is what it is. Everybody in that locker room is used to winning and getting in the playoffs and giving ourselves a shot to win it all. It’s disappointing not to have done that for ourselves, but we didn’t play well and at 8-8, we don’t deserve to be in there."

On being pressured throughout the game: "Yeah, well we just gave those guys constant opportunities to put pressure on us. We threw hot a handful of times, but then at the end of the game, we had the fourth down and I threw the interception. I could have thrown hot there, but at that point in the game, I wanted to give us a shot to get it without having to get tackled before the sticks or something like that. But we let them put pressure on us and we hit a couple of quick-in things a couple times and they got us a couple times. I think a lot of pressure in the first half didn’t come from their blitz looks ... It came from those guys twisting their ends around up the middle and getting us a little bit with that stuff."

Jimmy Smith

On if the defense needs to raise its play: "Absolutely - that's the goal, to finish the game. We knew we were going to be in a dogfight. We didn't think it would come down to (the fourth quarter) the way it did, but we knew we were going to be on the field and have to make some plays and unfortunately, we just came up short."

On not making the playoffs: "I mean, it's very disappointing. Like you said, the first two years (of my career), we were in the AFC Championship (Game) and it's kind of simple how we did it. Me, just coming into the league and watching how the Ravens played, it was kind of a cakewalk how they got in there. So to have a year like this (with) a lot of ups and downs, it shows a lot about our team. I'm proud of our guys, but this just wasn't our year."

Lardarius Webb

On not reaching the postseason: "Personally, this is my first year not making the playoffs. Now, I know how it feels. It hurts. We have to come back next year and know we don't want to be in this predicament."

On defending Cincinnati's screen game: "We need to have all 11 men running to the ball. Everybody's got to be doing his job. If someone is not doing his job, screens go against us. We've got to have a Ravens mentality defense. Everybody's got to be running to the ball. We like to blitz and bring pressure. Screens work against that."

James Ihedigbo

On finishing 8-8: "There are always going to be ups and downs in every season. That's expected. It's about how you handle those ups and downs. When you get opportunities, you have to seize them. Chris Canty said this week, ‘Opportunities are never lost. They are taken by someone else.' That's truly what happened today."

On if Cincinnati was able to take an opportunity from Baltimore: "They stay with their game plan. They were going to attack no matter what situation they were in. I'm proud of how we played. We got our hands on some balls and caused some turnovers. We knew they were going to fight and not lay down the game for us. We hoped to come out on top in a got to have it situation, but we didn't."

Ray Rice

On not making the playoffs: "It's tough. I knew we were going to get everybody's best shot this year. We certainly did. I'm proud of the way our guys battled. We certainly will bounce back from this. I'm not used to early offseason. I'm looking forward to getting healthy and taking care of my body. I battled through some things this year. I had to learn some things myself this year. I had to learn to fight through some things. It will be different this time - taking care of the body - getting back to some things I'm used to doing."

On not playing much in the first half: "I was ready to go. There was a lot of situational football. We were backed up and we had to put the guys in that gave us a chance to get out. I was fully ready to go. I had the legs warmed up. I was like a little jitterbug. I could get up and go. When you have muscular deals, you can't crank it up right away. We thought both Bernards (Pierce and Scott) gave us a shot to get out of situational football. I think they did a good job. In the second half needless to say, I went out there. I was ready. I felt good on the two-point conversion."

On if he can explain why the offense struggled all year: "No. At the end of the day, the one thing I can say that we can all do better is that we could have executed. That takes play calling out of it. Sometimes it's about who wants it more. All of the guys fought. This offseason all of the coaches will say that when we get in to the red zone, we have to score points. When you get a good team like the Bengals - a good team that earns the crown - they've been building this team for years. They were a battling group. It was quite impressive to see them come out and play the last game of the season the way they did."

Terrell Suggs

On the upcoming offseason: "With a new team, we didn't capitalize on the opportunity that we had. I have said it before, you learn more in failure than you ever will in success. This is a crappy feeling. We're going to learn tremendously from it and we have to live with it for the whole offseason. You had better believe that we're going to come in to next season with a sense of urgency."

Torrey Smith

On the Ravens settling for field goals instead of scoring touchdowns: "That's why we're at this point. Our defense had four turnovers. If you can't score with four turnovers, then you're in trouble. Field goals aren't going to get it done, especially when you're playing against a (Bengals) offense like that. That's been our Achilles heel for a while this season - field goals instead of touchdowns. It's only a matter of time before that comes back to bite you in the NFL. You've got to be able to score touchdowns to win games."

On defending Joe Flacco after throwing 22 interceptions this year: "You have to watch the games. You can't just look at the numbers and say, ‘That's the problem.' If you're not watching the game, you're not judging anyone fairly. That's fantasy football, looking at the stats. You've got to watch it. Joe's a warrior for us. He's going to take a lot of heat. He fought through so many things this year. He battled. He didn't quit. He didn't point the finger at anyone. He shouldn't have been in this position heading in to the offseason."


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