BALTIMORE – Five things we learned watching the Ravens suffer their second straight loss, a 16-10 setback to the Redskins:
1. For the second straight week, the Ravens’ offense couldn’t deliver on the final drive.
The Ravens could have overcome an afternoon of mistakes on their final drive, but fell short. A potential game-winning 23-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Breshad Perriman was correctly overturned, when the replay showed that Perriman did not get both feet inbounds. Then on fourth down, Flacco threw a pass that slipped through Wallace’s hands incomplete before he took a big hit. Holding the Redskins to 16 points should be enough to win. But not with this Ravens offense.
2. The Ravens’ offense has serious issues.
Getting shutout in the second half against the Redskins just doesn’t cut it. And wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. left the game with an ankle injury, raising concerns about his availability for next week. The Ravens offense was booed several times coming off the field, and the heat will only get more intense on offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. The Ravens could be 5-0 if they had gained 10 more yards at the end of the Raiders game, and if they had scored seven points in the second half against Washington. Instead, the Ravens are 3-2, facing back-to-back road games against the Giants and Jets, and the Ravens’ offensive line is banged up.
3. A botched fake field goal attempt in the second quarter hurt the Ravens.
Leading 10-6 late in the second quarter, the Ravens could have gone ahead, 13-6, simply by letting Justin Tucker kick a 37-yard field goal. Instead, the Ravens called for fake field goal attempt that looked doomed from the start. Tucker tipped off the fake from the beginning, lining up to kick left-footed, instead of from his natural right-footed position. The play still would have worked if Tucker had thrown a decent pass, because tight end Crockett Gillmore was open in the end zone. But Tucker’s pass on the run was short, and deflected incomplete off a Redskins’ defender. The Ravens aren’t good enough offensively to overcome giving away points. They never scored again.
4. Running back Terrance West was one of the few offensive bright spots.
West cracked 100 yards for the second straight week, and the Ravens should have given him more carries. The Redskins struggle to stop the run, but West also made Redskins miss and rarely made the wrong cut or decision. He should remain their No. 1 back as long as he remains productive.
5. The Ravens’ special teams had another bad day.
The Redskins’ first touchdown came on an 85-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder. Will Blackmon of the Redskins also got a 45-yard kickoff return. Add the failed fake field goal, penalties, and returner Devin Hester letting punt s hit the ground too often. Special teams are usually a strength for the Ravens, but not the last two weeks.