Here we go again. It's time to get out the red pen and grade the Ravens after their latest last-second, one-possession loss. Give them a little extra credit for making a game of it after falling behind 26-10 in the fourth quarter. We begin with the offense:
Joe Flacco finished 26-for-40 for 252 yards and one touchdown, with one interception that came on the Ravens' final play. Flacco was under pressure much of the night and was sacked three times, and once again he was limited by the lack of playmakers. Give Flacco credit for getting the Ravens down the field in the final two minutes. His final throw, intended for Crockett Gillmore, was another back-foot floater, but in fairness to Flacco, he was facing heavy pressure, and with 13 seconds left and no timeouts, he couldn't afford to throw a ball in the field of play and risk the clock running out. Flacco's worst throw actually came earlier; he had Chris Givens open by two steps behind the Cardinals defense, but the ball was underthrown, allowing Tyrann Mathieu to deflect away what should have been a touchdown.
RUNNING BACKS: C+
Justin Forsett (12-36) and Buck Allen both had some solid moments, but the Ravens pretty much bailed on the run after falling behind 26-10. The Ravens had four rushes for 7 yards after halftime. Allen had 25 yards on three carries and also showed power when he lowered his shoulder and drove forward on a 10-yard catch. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk caught a 1-yard touchdown pass and finished with four catches. No, you aren't imagining it; the Ravens really do throw to Juszczyk on the first play of every half.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C-
Flacco was sacked three times and under pressure from the Cardinals relentless blitz. Eugene Monroe was beaten badly a couple of times and the Cardinals blew up a third-and-1 run behind Monroe and Kelechi Osemele. A holding penalty on Monroe helped push the Ravens out of field goal range, as did a 6-yard loss on an end-around. Monroe's forgettable night ended early as he left with a shoulder injury, and Osemele left with a knee injury. Yes, John Urschel got jobbed on his penalty call; you think a math genius is going to forget to report eligible? That one is squarely on the referee.
TIGHT ENDS: C+
Crockett Gillmore finished with five catches for 53 yards, and Nick Boyle hauled in two catches for 20 yards plus a two-point conversion. Gillmore was targeted seven times, and Flacco needs to lean on him with the Ravens underwhelming receiving corps. Twice now games have essentially ended on end-zone passes intended for Gillmore down the seam. Not sure he could have done much on the overthrown interception, but if the Ravens are going to lean on that play, Flacco and Gillmore have to find the consistency that Flacco had with Dennis Pitta.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C-
The Ravens No. 2 receiver, Kamar Aiken, played 52 snaps and caught one pass for 6 yards. That just won't get it done. Marlon Brown had three catches for 22 yards but also another bad drop. Chris Givens showed some promise, twice getting behind the Cardinals defense. One should have been a touchdown but the underthrown pass was tipped away. The other was a 31-yard gain on the Ravens final drive. The Ravens need to take deep shots with Givens more often. Steve Smith (5-78) was his usual solid self but was held without a catch on the Ravens final drive.