Ravens come up empty
Before everybody starts talking about what a great season it was in spite of tonight's loss, I'm going to wallow in it for a minute. Cam Cameron's offense did very little and the defense had very little margin for error, yet it still may have come down to one very stupid personal foul that deprived them of a chance for a short drive and a lead-changing field goal in the waning minutes of the game.
Don't think that's much consolation for the Ravens fans who were dreaming about Tampa when the Ravens appeared to get the ball back at their 40-yard line after the second Willis McGahee touchdown.
Joe Flacco (and the rest of the team, for that matter) exceeded all expectations this year, but he's still got some growing to do, no matter how cool he looked for a rookie. The guy he has often been compared to, Ben Roethlisberger, showed how much experience counts.
The Ravens also need to come up with a big-play receiver by next season. Mark Clayton made some big plays this year, but all you had to do was watch Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald in the earlier game to see how one guy can make a huge difference. That's an extreme example, of course, since he and Cardinals QB Kurt Warner are borderline unconscious right now, but you've got to have someone to go up and get the ball when Flacco throws the ball up for grabs down-field.
That has to be a priority this offseason if the Ravens are going to build on their surprising 2008-09 performance.