Ravens

Ravens

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been insisting that his team is "built for December" after going 4-0 the month before.

They'd won 70% of their games in the month since 2007 going into this season. But now they're 0-2. And instead of building up heading into the postseason, the Ravens could be breaking down after their second consecutive loss on a field goal.

Kai Forbath drilled a 34-yard field goal to give the Washington Redskins a 31-28 win in overtime at FedEx Field as the Ravens blew an 8-point fourth-quarter lead.

"They deserved to win because of the way they played at the end of the game, but we are not going to be disheartened," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, whose team has lost three games by a total of 7 points this season. "We understand what we are fighting for, where we have to go as a football team and the things we have to do to be the football team we want to be in December."

Harbaugh has to figure out something fast with the Denver Broncos with quarterback Peyton Manning coming to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday and then the New York Giants led by his brother, Eli.

It didn’t take anyone near their caliber to hand the Ravens (9-4) consecutive losses for the first time in three seasons.

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were sparked by third-string quarterback Charlie Batch as he led a 61-yard drive to set up field goal for a 23-20 victory as time expired.

 

Sunday, Robert Griffin III was knocked out late in the fourth quarter with a right knee sprain an MRI would later reveal. Trailing 28-20, rookie backup Kirk Cousins entered and finished off the drive -- sustained by a pass interference call on Chris Johnson on 3rd and 6 -- to throw an 11-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon. 

Cousins then ran in a 2-point conversion to tie the score and force overtime. After Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco failed to get a first down, the Redskins’ Richard Crawford returned the punt 64 yards to set up Forbath’s game-winning kick.

Flacco threw 10-for-13 for 120 yards and 3 TDs in the first half as the Ravens took a 21-14 lead halftime. But on their first two possessions of the second half, Flacco had a fumble and an interception inside Washington’s 20-yard line.

The Ravens defense, playing without starting linebackers Terrell Suggs (biceps), Ray Lewis (triceps), Dannell Ellerbe (ankle) and starting cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin), did its best. They held the Redskins to two field goals after those turnovers as Baltimore still led 21-20.

"The one in our zone was probably the one that hurt most, on my part," Flacco said of the fumble. "Other than that I don’t think we did too bad of a job. We were able to grind some drives out there and run the ball pretty decently. We just weren’t able to finish."

The Ravens appeared to have done everything right to win. Alfred Morris pounded them early with Washington’s running attack as he had 74 yards to get his team out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but they tightened up on him. Griffin threw for 246 yards but was contained on the ground, only getting 34 yards on 7 rushes.

In turn, the Ravens fed the ball to Ray Rice early and often. After running the ball just 12 times last week in a loss to the Steelers, he carried it 19 times for 117 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown.

Combined with Bernard Pierce, they had 27 carries for 170, an average of 6.2 against the NFL’s fourth-ranked rushing defense. The run set up Flacco's TD passes, two to Anquan Boldin who went past 10,000 career receiving yards. 

Flacco only connected once with Torrey Smith for 21 yards. He only threw for 62 yards after halftime. 

"We just didn't get it done," Flacco said.