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What went wrong for the Ravens on Sunday?


The Ravens weren’t the only ones who had a rough Sunday.

Of the 40 or so prognosticators at the bar this week, only four had the Patriots winning. Plenty of confidence in the old Balmer team, and you have to respect that, I guess.

Didn’t work out though.

No one correctly predicted a 27-21 Pats win (Never More gets one drink chip for the right score, but the wrong winner).

The closest -- and therefore the winner of the free bar tab this week -- was JTK, who had New England to win, 27-17. Congrats, I suppose.

Since I have never lied to you before (at least that you know of), I have to come clean today. I didn’t watch much of the Ravens game, not enough to be analytical anyway. You see, I have this pesky day job watching another professional sports team in Baltimore.

Yes, there is one.

So I basically know what happened on Sunday in New England -- I know about Jared Gaither and Mark Clayton‘s drop and the referees' spots. But I don’t know the big picture stuff. Like, specifically, what ultimately cost them the game.

That’s where you come in. It’s time for you to be the analyst (you guys do it in here every week anyway). What did you think went wrong on Sunday?

Was it the game plan? Was it the execution of a particular facet? Or did they just run into a good team that was more desperate to win?

Daily Think Special: What went wrong for the Ravens on Sunday?

Comments

I think that the one thing that affected the ravens the most was the fumble we gave up the opening kickoff. It not only gave them an extra 3 points, but an energy and momentum boost. It could've also been pivotal as to the result of the game, only trailing by 3 or less instead of 6, going for a field goal and possibly overtime.

The problem was the defense could not get to Brady, they have not been able to presure the qb all year, Rex Ryan's never been more missed! I'm getting nervous about the new Defensive co-ord.

The Pats were the better team. Theres alot of "what ifs"...but you have to realize the Patriots could easily blew us if they capitalized on their own set of "what ifs"

I believe the biggest problem was the defense couldn't stop Brady, however, the officiating wasn't the best either. Mark Clayton's dropped pass really sealed our defeat, but there is always next week.

The officiating. Strategically calculated bad calls to keep drives alive for points did us in. It calls into question the integrity of the NFL, especially given the profligate gambling of 10s of millions of doallrs on the game in Vegas, and illegally. I've been watching the NFL for 40+ years and the game is becoming a joke, like pro wrestling or horse racing. When does the UFL start - they might run a clean game.

What happened was the Ravens got robbed by Roger Goodells drones who have been programed to protect what has become a multibillon dollar business....what we used to know as NFL football exsist no more....like so many other things in life the suits have destroyed the beauty and the integrity of it for profit maximization.....they have no regard for the substance of the game....the history of the game or the beauty of its competitive nature....to them Tom Brady and Payton Manning are mythical figures who they see as holy money making icons...they cant be touched to hard...after all its tackle football....they dont want Tom Brady to stay out of the spotlight any longer that would be bad for business...Baltimore is a small market and the Ravens are a low revenue generating team.....they cant have them shrinking the profit margin during a recession....I feel bad for the players who fought so valiantly with so much passion and determination....I commend them....in a fair contest it wouldnt even be close...the Ravens know it...the Patriots know it....the officials know it....and we know it....I have to admit I was mildly schocked at how dominiant the Ravens were in this game and how easily they would have won without the 2 Officiating assisted touchdown drives.....not to mention the numerous other bad spots/ bogus calls and non calls against the Patriots.

Game plan was good, although they could have tried to establish the running game more. Passing game was dynamic and they gave a lot of different looks. The Pats had no running game and Moss was largely a non-factor, and even the damage from Welker was limited.

Individually and collectively, the players executed on the gameplan well. Clayton had the big drop, Carr lost the fumble early, and Rice lost his footing several times behind the line of scrimmage several times in the closing minutes, leaving the Ravens with 3rd and longs. But for the most part, the team played well.

In my opinion, the singlemost important factor in today's loss was the officiating. Two roughing the passer flags were thrown after Brady signaled to the ref asking for a penalty after non- or light-contact plays. Both should have been no-calls, and each was after an unsuccessful third down play, turning a punt into an extended drive and, in both cases, a touchdown.

That is to say that two questionable officiating calls contributed more to the Patriots offense (14 points) than every other play they ran for the rest of the game.

And the egregious officiating wasn't limited to just those two calls. In one span during the second half Wes Welker and Derrick Mason ran nearly identical routes, lining up on the left and faking a cross before running a short out route. In both cases they ran into the defender, and in Welker's case he actually extended his arms to push off the defender. The refs called a defensive pass interference on Welker's play, and offensive illegal contact for Mason. Two identical plays, and it wasn't even that they didn't call one- they called it THE OPPOSITE WAY. Another third down incompletion reversed for the Pats, another drive extended.

Spots on the field all day were horrendous, and their management of replay reviews was downright awful. At one point they didn't even review what it was the Ravens were challenging!

Finally, the unsportsmanlike call on "the Baltimore bench" was highly unprofessional. The CBS announcers said they couldn't remember that being called before, and since the cameras were following Harbaugh the entire time, pacing the sideline in line with the refs complaining about the blown call on Mason I described above, it was clear he didn't do anything greater than what every NFL coach does every Sunday.

I've never been one to buy into officiating conspiracies, and in fact I've never written in here to complain about the officials in any sport. I understand that mistakes happen, usually they tend to balance out, and most of the time the outcome is still driven more by the players than the refs. But in today's case, based on the excessive, one-sided, and inconsistent calls I witnessed from start to finish, which directly determined the game's outcome, I blame this one on the zebras.

What cost the Ravens the game, you ask? Simple answer....the Ravens.

with two red zone turnovers (Flacco INT and Carr fumble) and the 4th quarter stop on 4th down in Ravens territory, its a miracle that it went all the way to the Clayton drop with 30 seconds before the Ravens were finished.

You can't make those mistakes and win on the road against the best teams. That the Ravens were able to keep it close is gutsy.

The Ravens showed thier a top team. They playe great amoung a whole host of adversity. We learned a lot and will be ready for the Bengals Sunday. We are 3-1 and as tough as anyone. Clayton's drop is was almost as bad as the refs. In the end we had to drive 80 yards and eat up all of the clock. We did both. It was beautiful til Clayton's drop of all drops.I love our Ravens!

That fumble on the opening kickoff hurt, our defense was able to hold em to a FG but you can't make mistakes like that against the Pats.

We also got too pass-happy, yes we moved the ball well but think about it Rice had 103 yards on only 11 carries. Why the hell did we only run the ball 17 times? The friggin Pats were more balanced than we were!!! 47 pass attempts to 17 rushes? Oh and while I didn't disagree with running it on that 4th and 1, that seems like a good situation to bring in Leron McClain to get that one yard.

The officiating, as been said, was just terrible. They call RTP on Brady but they don't call it on Flacco on the play Gaither gets hurt? Are you f*ckin kidding me? Not to mention they call intentional grounding on Flacco when he gets rid of it near the sideline? I was in shock that an official could call something like that.

I hate to jump on a guy when he's down but if Clayton made that catch everything mentioned wouldn't have mattered. He makes that catch more than likely we win. I'm sure Clayton is upset and he was big on that drive besides the drop, but you need to catch the ball in crucial situations like that.

Clayton had a horrible day - not just the final dropped pass. He also dropped the pass in the end zone, I think on 2nd down, on the same set of downs. It bounced right off his right arm. Also, Flacco's interception was Clayton's fault - he was clearly supposed to come back for the pass, not go long. The Ravens need to find a different third receiver.

Ravens went away from the running game. If they had stayed balanced, they would have been more productive thru the middle quarters of the game, maybe gotten another score, and kept the Pats offense on the bench.

Not only did Clayton miss on the catch for the first down , but the over the shoulder catch in the end zone a few plays before has become routine for the better recievers in the league. The reason Clayton will never be considered a big time quality reciever is exactly because of what you saw Sunday, the good ones make those plays the not so good ones don't. Those are the kind of plays that get you mentioned when everyone talks about the better recievers, Clayton is not one of them! That being said the Ravens looked very mediocre on defense all day long and also would have won this game if they had run the ball more than 17 times in this game. Cam Cameron has become too pass happy, yes , it is great to finally have a passing game but not at the expense of smart football and your running game. In the long run you will not win a championship throwing the ball 50 times a game and running it 17!

I need ome Irish coffee this morning Dan....feeling a little squeemish. What cost us today's game:

2 red zone TO's, our end on the INT and their end on the fumbled kick off. They got 3, we didn't get a chance for 3.

Too much passing, not enough running. Mybe we passed nore playing from behind but it seemed like we could run whenever we wanted.

The O-line wasn't as sharp as prior weeks. They pressured Joe.

I've always been one of thos "stop blaming the refs" guys and I still feel that way but the two roughing penalties and the pass interference calls were lousy calls. Brady should wear all pink all the time. That being said, The Ravens beatthe Ravens yesterday.

Bring on Cinncy....

The absence of the three headed monster. 17 runs out of 66 plays. The patriots only stopped the runs on the 3rd and 4th down attempts from the 40. Otherwise, it was clear running all day. And not running McClain, come on a 260 lb beast. They should have had 30+ runs and wore that attacking defense down. I love Flacco and feel comfortable giving him the ball and being down knowing he can come back and we can pass. But let's not forget we have the best, best running attack in the league and our runners do not have to get tired. And our O line is built to wear down a defense with the run.

Well, I love going out to the local newspapers after a Pats win...Same ol...same ol
"The officials robbed us"
"We are the better team and they know it"
"If we catch the ball, games over"
The Pats have been dealing out these types of whiners for years. The Ravens are a middle of the pack playoff team. You Ravens fans are pathetic. Admit your team was beaten by a better team...simple.

PATS ALL THE WAY!!

Mark Clayton is a bust. He dropped a touchdown pass in San Diego and he dropped one yesterday. But the butterfingered fellow's drop on 4th and 3 from the New england 10 with 32 seconds and a timeout left, after we had driven 70 yards in about a minute surely cost us the game. When all was said and done we were in position to win and his clumsiness cost us that opporturnity. Ozzie Newsome is one the 5 best GM's in the game, but I wish he had spent what it took to get us another top notch receiver. Derrick Mason can't do everything and no other wideout on the team seems able to step up and help him. Season before last when we almost stopped their winning streak, they also scored 27 points. Don't blame the defense, don'blame the lousy calls by the officials - blame the guy who yet again, when the game was on the line couldn't make the play.

I totally agree with Preston's collum. Run the ball! I love Flacco, but we have a great running game with three backs and the more we keep Brady off the field, the better.

Like most close losses against good teams it was a number of things. The Ravens couldn't stop Welker, got some bad calls from the refs. and didn't run enough.
Of the three I think the decision not to run more hurt the most. They ran effectively when they tried, and could have won the T.O.P battle keeping Brady off the field, but they have become too fond of the passing game.

The game crystallized several things: letting Leonard get away was a big mistake. adding Carr was a big mistake. not doing whatever was necessary to get Marshall was a big mistake. Clayton is not a go-to guy. our CB's are mediocre. We are not going to beat an elite team very often because of all of the above.

Looks like B-MORE was B-LESS, but just think you still hold on to this NFL record...YOUR THE ONLY TEAM THAT HAS NEVER WON IN FOXBOROUGH.

Paid off refs!!!!!
If the refs weren't paid off we win this game 35-6. Our O played their worst game of the season, and we still DOMINATED. And our D, everybody in the world was watching and taking notes, asking how do they destroy offenses so easily.
Screw that! We are 4-0 in my book! In fact we haven't lost a game in 2 seasons now. Nobody can beat us on the field. The refs have to STEAL games from us. Our D is Godly. Our O is near Godly. They have to hate us and make deals with the refs to beat us. This is a Dynasty. If we could play a game {that is called fairly} we have the best team of all time. There are just way to many Ravens Haters out there. If people would admit who has talent {not by popularity}, we should have like 30+ All Pros, easily.

Dan,
The Ravens decided to pass the ball all day long instead of grinding it out on the ground...that is indeed why we lost. Big problems that the Ravens need to fix is the leaning on the passing - almost ALL THE TIME. Especially when they opposing team QB and offensive players are dangerous to take chances with. We had success on the ground, but we did not attempt to punish them with our backs. This game would have clearly been won under this approach. FRUSTRATING.

Other than that, I would say that a combination of shoddy special teams play (the first time we touched the ball), frustrating and sometimes infurating officiating, and DROPPED (Clayton) passes, helped towards the loss.

Once again, we had New England in our sights, but couldn't finish when it counted. We need to get Flacco to put some contact cement on Clayton's gloves. Several final seconds passes to Clayton were catchable from most recievers, but not our man Clayton. Somehow he makes 1st team every year. No wonder Flacco begged Mason to come back. He would not be having a great year otherwise.

I really get irritated from NE fans that blab on these blogs about being 'sore losers' and complainers. Even the national press has picked up on the officiating on this game...so quit being fanboys and actually acknowledge the problems there were and are currently visable throughout the league. Even Brady got a laugh when the ref did as he was told...funny...but not really for true fans.

Granted, I doubt we would even be talking about this had a few perfectly thrown passes at the end would have been CAUGHT.

Oh well...still...3-1 is not that bad. Ravens are in trouble though if they can't dominate for 60 mins though.

Flacco got knocked around a lot, and it affected him. The Patriot blitz worked brilliantly and our offense didn't adjust very well to it. The best defense against the blitz is a running game, and the Ravens have a good one. But they didn't use it to protect Flacco. This wasn't a bad game, and we'll be in the playoffs, I'm sure. But we need to have a more balanced offense if we want to protect our passer. And we need to protect the passer to win

43 PASS PLAYS
17 RUN PLAYS

...NOT a very balanced day for a team that's been labeled "the most balanced team in the NFL"!

Reward Mark Clayton, trade him to the Oakland Raiders, for a 6th Round Draft Pick in some future draft...

I think that the fumble at the beginning of the game disrupted the rhythm of the whole team. The running game was established very late in the game and I think that the offense really just panicked and resorted to passing, trying to play catch up when they didn't have to. I think that they need a better plan of attack on offense. No worry though, its just one loss.

I'm admittedly a Patriots fan but can honestly send this honest appraisal from the game: Joe Flacco is the real deal, easily in the Top 5 of NFL QB's today. He's remarkably poised for just a 2nd year QB, didn't get rattled by the pretty fierce (1st half) rush yesterday, sees the field extremely well, and has conveys a calm presence to his teammates. The Ravens will be in fine shape for years as he's a franchise-changer for you. I have little doubt we'll see you in the playoffs down the road ... having said all that, our QB is pretty good too, and though a few of the calls were a bit overdone BOTH ways yesterday (Ray Lewis' hammer into Brady's back when he slid would have usually drawn a flag), it's all for the good in protecting the QB. Best of luck rest of the way, Ravens!

Clayton is terrible! It's time to get Marvin Harrison - a big time receiver who NEVER drops 'key' passes. He will run perfect routes and make the correct adjustments when needed.

Why are Raven fans such whiners? When are you going to admit that you got BEAT by a far superior team? Complaining is all that raven fans and players are know for. I think the ravens are about to be exposed by the rest of the league.

Not too upset about the loss. Way too many mistakes, too many dropped passes and the first half was the worst first half of play all year. Clayton makes that catch and none of the other stuff would have mattered. Let the classless Pat fans come over and gloat you are entitled. Ravens will learn from this game and come out even better in the long run. On to Cincinatti..GO RAVENS!

What kind of sportswriter doesn't even watch the game? Ever heard of Tivo? DVR? VHS??
The Sun is so lame!

I think it is easy to blame the bad calls as the reason for the loss but the problem is the Ravens secondary. They give up way too many catches over the center of the field. Also they do no seem to get as much pressure on the QB. It wasnt until later in the game that this actually seemed to start to happen but it was too late at that point. They need better secondary play if they are not going to be getting the rush on the QB.

Patfan - "far superior team"?? Wow, talk about delusional. Your point about too many of the Raven fans being whiners about officiating is fair - you should see us when we play the Steelers. But they do have a fair point about how the Patriots do seem to get more than their share of the calls. Personally I don't believe the refs are "paid off". But I do believe that they may, unconsciously or not, give the benefit of the doubt to certain players or teams more often than to others.

But even with how bad the officiating was or was not, the Patriots were fortunate that the Ravens receiver dropped a pass that was pretty much between the numbers on his chest on fourth down that would have given the Ravens first and goal with over 30 seconds and a timeout left. At that point I like their chances of winning the game. A "far superior" team doesn't lose at home under those circumstances. It wasn't even a good defensive play by the Pats, it was just a drop that was inexplicable.

I am not afraid to say when the Patriots stink so the Ravens fans are on my nerves now. All this whining by the players and fans is embarrassing. You were dominated for most of the game by a better team and that is why you lost. There were 3 roughing the passer calls in the game and they were all ticky tack. Two went for you and one against you. A ticky tack holding call on Matt Light took away a huge play by Maroney. Flacco threw ten passes that could have easily been picked and only one was. Luck is when Several Flacco tipped balls bounce harmlessly to the ground passes that often times will be easy turnovers for the opponents. Even the best defense in the league can only count on a play like Suggs leading to a TD at such a critical time once or twice a year and you got 7 free points from that. I know its hard to swallow because it means another mediocre season but this wasnt KC, SD or CLe this was losing to a better team on the road. You got beat by a better team and frankly were lucky to have a shot at the end. so stop crying. Oh wait maybe the Patriots stole the Ravens signals and thats why they won hahahahhahaa

The fumble on the opening kickoff by the Great Gazoo, and his general ineffectiveness on returns and as the nickel back will have long term implications if he is not replaced. That being said, the drop by Clayton cost us the game (I refuse to torture myself any further with a discussion of the officiating).

I'm curious... What's with the non-Raven fans that post on Raven blogs after a Raven loss?

Seriously..... is the only way to feel good about yourself is to post things to annoy the Ravens fans here that want to share their opinion with other Raven fans? Wow.

Bellyache about Baltimore fans being childish, so go out of your way to act like a child and post on the Baltimore Sun site. Hypocrites, kindly go get yourself a life.

If you're not a Raven fan, no biggie. Go to your local paper and post your anti-rants. If you're in B-more and don't like the Ravens, ok, move away. It's not like we'll miss you anyway.

Another round on my tab, bartender, for the Ravens fans here.

Wow so many opinions as to why we lost. Interesting that we all watched the same game and saw things so differently. The Pats fans naturally think they "dominated" a game they barely survived, even though the stats tell a MUCH different story. The "blame it in the refs" crowd has a very valid point which I happen to agree with, but am not sure that is what is to blame for the loss. We are supposed to be good enough to recover from such adversity during the course of the game and we did, otherwise the 4th and three drop would not even be in the discussion. That drop in and of itself may have technically lost the game for us, but it wasn't in the end zone, so we'll never know for sure. What we do know for sure is that we can play step for step with the best teams this league has seen in the past twenty years they always end up requiring as much luck as skill to beat us. And Luck wears a black and white shirt.

We lost our starting left tackle on a play that should have drawn a flag but did not. Our offensive line adjusted and opened up a hole for Rice big enough for him to break a fifty yard run , and also to allow Flacco to march 80 yards for the potential game winner. That is what winning teams do. Derrick Mason showed more heart again Sunday than all of these prissy prima dona WRs on the other teams combined. Flacco outperformed Brady. Yes, I said Flacco outperformed Brady. Pats fans you need to realize that this is not only possible, but likely to happen a lot this year. check the stats. After overcoming a stacked deck, we just ended up one play short at the end. Credit to the pats for a good hard fought game. Credit to the Ravens for showing they are as advertised and as good as any team in the league. Credit to John Harbaugh for standing up in defense of his team when they needed an advocate. Fear not Ravens fans, It isn't as if we expected to go undefeated...

Oh and by the way DJT, you are completely wrong about everything you said. You obviously did not see the game, and you know nothing about what the Ravens Defense is capable of doing. The patriots have never had and will never have a defense as talented and dominating as the ravens have had for the last ten years. And also, the RTP calls went against us not for us. Flacco made some throws that could have been picked by a good defense. I guess yours isn't. The Ravens are anything but mediocre pal. That was definitely the toughest opponent you will play all season, unless you are lucky enough to have a shot at us in Baltimore in January.

i called a new england
victory...

the ravens always seem to come
up short against pittsburgh,
indianapolis and new england...

why?? becaause these teams
are simply a little better.

the ravens will miss rex ryan
and their defense is not as
good as last year's...

the running game baltimore's
best weapon is starting to
be overlooked due to joe
flacco......

in the playoffs defense and
a good ground game win you
ball games..

the ravens must learn this....


What went wrong? We lost. We had our opportunities. We did not cash in.

Later this season in the playoffs, we will show the Patriots what I believe they know right now: the Baltimore Ravens are better than the New England Patriots.

The Ravens are insgnificant. If somehow the Ravens back into the playoffs, and you meet up with the Patriots, the Ravens will be defeated AGAIN!
The Ravens have NEVER beat the Patriots, the Patriots have played the Ravens 5 times in your puny existence and after all 5 games the Ravens cried about losing. We will play your weak team anytime.
The Ravens got beat by the same team 3 times last year, LOL. Good teams don't lose to the same team three times. You weren't good enough to not get swept last year and you're certainly not good enough to not get swept this year.
Ravens Suck!
O's Suck!
Baltimore Sucks!

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