I’ve said it over and over, but the Ravens could be 6-0. They’ve been very close in every game, and it’s mistakes and dumb decisions that have cost them each week. For the same reason, the Ravens could just as easily be 0-6. Each loss has been crushing, but Sunday was particularly painful. The final minutes of the loss to the Giants was a microcosm of the entire Ravens season.
This season has been marked by inconsistent offense, dumb mistakes, and an inability to come through in the clutch. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the Ravens defense let up and the offense consistently was unable to complete drives. The turnover differential and penalty yards alone would lead you to believe that the Ravens had handily won, but they wasted opportunities.
I don’t know that there is a bigger Harbaugh fan than me, but the majority of the Ravens problems go back to him. The team looks lost too frequently. They continually disregard opportunities for easy field goals, which has come back to bite them in every game this year. This team isn’t talented enough to take those risks. When points are there, they have to take them. On Sunday, had the Ravens taken the field goal on 4 & Goal, then they only need a field goal to win in the closing seconds. Harbaugh said in his media session on Monday that it’s more problematic that with 4 chances to score from the one, the Ravens couldn’t get it done. While I agree, I don’t excuse that series resulting in no points. Fourth down gambles which result in nothing? Same old story, same old song and dance.
Late touchdowns have been killer as well. It has gotten to the point that they’re just expected. Even worse than allowing the points, is that the offense fails to answer. The offense didn’t just fail to score, but they showed no sense of urgency on the final drive Sunday (a drive that probably doesn’t cross the 50 without the referees). Flacco missed Mike Wallace, and then nearly got him beheaded. They looked disinterested.
The bottom line is the Ravens have historically been a team who thrived on taking advantage of other teams’ mistakes. This year they throw away chances, and this team doesn’t have the talent to do that. The Giants did everything they could to hand the Ravens that game with penalties and turnovers, but the Ravens didn’t take advantage. The moniker for the remainder of the year needs to be “Take the points!” If things don’t improve, I’m afraid it may be time for a new head coach.