It’s time to hand out another gloomy report card after the Ravens’ latest setback, a 25-20 loss to the 49ers that sends the Ravens to a 1-5 mark, the worst in franchise history after six games. There just isn’t enough red ink for all of this …
Joe Flacco has put up some fat numbers at times this season, and that includes Sunday’s game, when he completed 33 of 53 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two terrible interceptions, forcing a ball into double-coverage intended for Kamar Aiken and sending a high, deep floater that was 10 yards beyond any Ravens receiver and an absolute gift for 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker. After the game, Flacco said he never expected a defensive back to be there and accurately called it “a really, really dumb throw.” His vision on several his picks this year has been highly suspect. A few key drops are not on him.
RUNNING BACKS: C
Justin Forsett battled through his ankle injury to total 62 yards on 17 carries (3.6 avg.), and tied for the team lead with seven receptions (39 yards). But the Ravens continue to struggle in short yardage; Forsett lost a yard on second-and-goal from the 3, and later in the game lost a yard on third-and-goal from the 1. Buck Allen had four rushes for 13 yards and couldn’t hold on to a tough but catchable pass in the end zone.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Flacco wasn’t sacked at all and was hit just once according to the official statistics. But the Ravens again struggled to get any kind of push in short-yardage situations; they are now 5-for-10 on third-and-1 rushes this season. And the offensive line gets a red mark for a glaring lack of urgency in the Ravens final two-minute drill. They had no timeouts left and should have been in frantic hurry-up mode, and yet several linemen casually strolled to the line of scrimmage after a completion in the middle of the field.
Crockett Gillmore returned to action with a leaping grab that included a crunching hit in the red zone. He finished with three catches for 30 yards, but the Ravens still need more from him. With the Ravens in catch-up/passing mode, Maxx Williams saw more action that Nick Boyle, and Williams finished with four catches for 24 yards.
WIDE RECEIVER: C
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Steve Smith Sr. was sensational, the other receivers not so much. Actually, Smith had his issues as well, dropping one sure touchdown and failing to corral another touch but catchable pass that would have been another touchdown. Still, hard to fault a guy who returned one week after sustaining microfractures in his back and produced seven catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. As for the other receivers, Jeremy Ross (3-34) and Kamar Aiken (3-22) led the way, but no receivers other than Smith caught a pass in the first half. The Ravens still can’t figure out what to do with Marlon Brown, but sending him in a fly route into double coverage is not the answer.