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The Baltimore Ravens are not playing like a smart team

Winning teams find ways to win and losing teams find ways to lose. The Baltimore Ravens are the latter during the 2015 NFL season.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have talented players. They have players who work hard and try hard every week. The fact that this team has played nine games this season and all of them are decided by eight points or less is proof of that. After eight games with a 2-6 record entering week 10, a lot of teams would have folded up the tent to get ready for the next season.

Not the Ravens. The Ravens believed and might still believe they can make a run at NFL history and make the playoffs.

But the reality of the situation says that the Ravens are done as they sit at 2-7 with their 22-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens sit at 2-7 because they are not playing like a smart football team. And I don't think with this current roster that they are capable of playing like a smart team. Not when they commit the same mistakes every week. Or at least, find new mistakes to make.

Regardless of the outcome of this game, I thought the Ravens season was over anyways and all of their talk about making the playoffs was a pipe dream. While some Ravens fans may not be able to get over this, the reality is that the Ravens have basically lost this way in every game this season as every loss has come down to the final possession.

If this loss occurred while the Ravens were in the thick of the playoff hunt, yes this is a very bad loss. But it doesn't mean much in the long run because everyone knows that the Ravens have a lot of work to do. At some point, the Ravens organization is going to have to realize that this isn't a very good team.

The coaches on the offensive side of the ball and on the defensive side of the ball called a respectable game in my opinion. It was a strategy that was a winning recipe. This loss is entirely on the players.

Here is a list of some of the plays that cost the Ravens in their 22-20 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Joe Flacco turning the ball over three times in the third quarter was unacceptable.
  • Cornerback Asa Jackson with two very dumb personal foul penalties on special teams was unacceptable.
  • Wide receiver Kamar Aiken dropping a wide open pass on the first drive for the Ravens in the first quarter and then dropping another pass to open the third quarter that led to an interception was unacceptable.
  • Jimmy Smith not looking back at the ball in the second quarter with resulted into a 27 yard pass interference penalty was unacceptable.
  • Fullback Kyle Juszczyk not staying in bounds after he caught a reception with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter. That was unacceptable.
  • Kendrick Lewis drops an easy interception on the Jaguars final possession that would have sealed a win for the Ravens. Unacceptable.
  • And the most costly penalty of all goes to outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil who commits a facemask penalty while sacking Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. Obviously, unacceptable.
Dumervil is going to feel bad for this loss, but he shouldn't blame himself. A lot of things led up to that point.
And while the officiating has been horribly inconsistent for the Ravens, it isn't mysterious to see why the Ravens average over seven penalties a game which was tied for 13th most in the NFL.

Entering week 10, out of the 13 teams in the NFL that averaged at least 7.4 penalties a game, only one team had a winning record and that was the Denver Broncos. Don't commit mistakes at crucial times. Yet the Ravens never seem to learn week after week during the 2015 season.