The Ravens played yet another ugly game in Week 9 against the Titans, but this one was different from the rest.
The Ravens outgained the Titans, they held the ball longer and they had more first downs. So what went wrong?
Throughout the season, the Ravens have been criticized for overly conservative play calling. The Ravens tried to change that, but instead of finding the medium, the Ravens found the other extreme, and it cost the team.
The Ravens threw the ball downfield more in this game than they have in any other this season. Flacco threw toward Breshad Perriman deep downfield multiple times, and neither worked. Perriman failed to high point the ball on those throws, but it sure didn’t help that Flacco made the decision to throw to Perriman in double coverage. The second deep ball to Perriman resulted in a tip drill interception as the former first round pick failed to haul in a catchable ball.
Throwing the ball downfield is something that has been called for, but doing it too much with a receiving corps lacking talent is not what is needed. The Ravens need to find a balance between overloaded the check downs, and over loading on deep balls.
In addition, the Ravens were extremely aggressive when it came to fourth down. The Ravens went for it on fourth down four times in the game. On three of the four occurrences, Baltimore converted.
It was the one failure that cost the Ravens the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Ravens elected to go for it on fourth and one from inside the red zone. Baltimore handed the ball off to Javorius Allen to go up the middle, and he failed to convert.
It was a baffling decision for the Ravens, it was a team that needed points trailing by 10, but failed to take them. The Ravens could have kicked an easy field goal and pulled to within seven.
The Ravens lost by three points.
The coaching decision take Justin Tucker off the field cost the Ravens the game.
The blame for this loss falls squarely on the coaching staff. Yet again, play calling was poor. The coaching staff appeared desperate to make something happen, and that desperation proved fatal.
The Ravens offense would soon be sparked by an Eric Weddle interception on the ensuing drive, but it was way too late. The Ravens didn’t leave themselves enough time to come back into this game. Especially considering the points the Ravens left on the board.
The defense was excellent yet again. Sure, they allowed the Titans to respond to the Ravens first touchdown, but that shouldn’t take away from how the defense kept the Ravens in the game for so long.
It’s been a scenario that has plagued the Ravens all year, poor coaching leading to a loss. The Ravens coaching tried to hard to create momentum and energy for their team. It burned them.