Jerry Coleman: Ravens Run Game Packs It In
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Green Bay slapped the Ravens around in 19-17 victory. This was the Ravens’ first loss at home dating back to December of last year against the Broncos. With the win by the Packers, they earn their first victory in the city of Baltimore since 1974 when they defeated the Colts 20-13 at Memorial Stadium. It also ends the Ravens 13 game win streak versus the NFC at home.
The Ravens again struggled to get things going early and were held scoreless in the first half for the 4th time in 6 games Wide Receiver Marlon Brown understands how important it is to have the practices carry over into the game “It was real frustrating, if you practice all week and you practice hard and you get into a game where nothing seems to be working, it is going to be frustrating, but honestly, we just have to clamp down, make plays and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.”
It was a defensive game throughout, where both QB’s -who are Super Bowl MVPs – could not throw the ball effectively. The turnovers would turn out to be instrumental in the game. Joe Flacco fumbled right before the end of the first half and gave the Packers kicker, Mason Crosby a chance to redeem himself for missing a 45-yard field goal moments earlier Thus, he made the kick after some VERY questionable play calling by Coach John Harbaugh.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was able to pick apart the defense in the second half, when he threw for almost 100 of his 315 passing yards. Rodgers connected on a 64-yard pass to Jordy Nelson, which was his only TD on the day. Execution was key, and right before halftime, Harbaugh, tried to be aggressive (gambled) and threw the ball instead of running the clock out. . A Joe Flacco sack and fumble put the Packers in Field goal range. “With our kicker, we had a better chance to complete a pass, get an offensive pass interference. You have confidence in your guys and I think you give your guys the opportunity to make plays in situations like that. They made a nice play and it cost us three points.”
The Ravens would finally reach the end zone with just under 12 minutes left in the game. Jacoby Jones caught an 11-yard reception from Flacco to cut the lead to six points and the Purple and Black would try to salvage a win and avoid being beat at home, which is a rare occurrence at M&T Bank Stadium.
Time was on the Packers side as they kept pounding it down the Ravens defense for the tough yardage. Eddie Lacy would help the cause by running for over 100 yards in the game, which is the first time they have allowed a 100-yard rusher all season in a single game. Also, the slow did not help either start and yet again for the team had to play catch up. Linebacker Terrell Suggs said afterwards, “He had a good game, he popped one early, you know we have been trying to get the defense to start fast, and get some three and outs. He popped one early and they just stayed with it. That is a good formula in the NFL, to stay with your run game, especially on the road.”
Flacco would try to cut the lead, but with 3:45 he would suffer a devastating sack. He would shake that off and after a short pass to Ray Rice, John Harbaugh deiced to take a risk and go for a 4th and 21 and put the ball in Flacco’s hands. He dropped back and aired it out to a wide-open Tandon Doss for a 63- yard grab that set up a Flacco touchdown to Dallas Clark on an 18-yard catch that cut the lead to two. That revived the Ravens and gave the defense one final chance to stop Rodgers The Ravens would not get the ball back and Flacco had to watch from the sidelines as the final minutes of the game went off the scoreboard. Afterwards the SB MP said, “You get in the end zone there, you’re down by two, and you give yourself a chance, but it was to little too late, and we have to find a way to get it going for all four quarters.”
The Ravens fall to 3-3 and will not be back at home until November 10th when they face off against division rival Cincinnati, who is currently in first place in the AFC North at 4-2. There where many factors that contributed to the Ravens not coming out victorious, one of those were the penalties and especially the false starts Offensive lineman Marshal Yanda said, “The ones at home there obviously tough because we can hear Joe [Flacco] just fine, and it is not a noise deal it is just a communication problem that we have, we can’t have penalties at home.”
As Baltimore realizes they won’t be undefeated at home, the schedule will only get harder as the season goes on. The 1-4 Steelers are next week at Heinz Field, then after a bye – at Cleveland, and the Bengals are here with plenty on the line in the division.