Lessons Learned: Blunders Doom Ravens

Five Lessons Learned from the Ravens’ 17-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Categories: 2009 Gameday, Sarah Ellison

Heartbreaking blunders continue to doom and define the Ravens’ season.

An interception with 2:39 left to play at the Indy 13.

An unnecessary burned timeout with minutes remaining (an actual timeout and a challenge were requested at the same time).

A turnover with only 28 seconds remaining because of an ill-advised lateral during a punt return.

The offense stuffed at the goal line, three times.

Four visits to the red zone, but no touchdowns to show for it.

A missed field goal from 30 yards.

These events fit in with the theme of the season: missed opportunities. It’s crushing because the Ravens have played well enough to beat some of the best teams in the league – New England, Minnesota, Cincinnati, and now the undefeated Colts. Heartbreaking blunders continue to doom the Ravens. Once this team finds a way to cut down on its mistakes and take advantage of its opportunities, W’s will start piling up in the win column.

The decision to cut Hauschka was smart. Too little, too late?

I hope former Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka wasn’t watching.

After participating in his first practice with the Ravens only four days ago, kicker Billy Cundiff marched into M&T Bank Stadium and nailed five (yes, I said five) field goals from 46, 44, 38, 36 and 20 yards, respectively. What a breath of fresh air. He did miss one in the third quarter that, had he converted, may have been enough to clinch a win.

Meanwhile, after 19 years of handling kicking duties for the Ravens’ organization, Matt Stover returned to Charm City and kicked a 25-yard field goal that eventually turned out to be the game-winner. The whole situation is simply ironic.

The defense played above expectations against the league’s best passing attack.

If you had told me before the game that Greg Mattison’s defense would hold the Colts to 17 points, I would have thought the Ravens would win the game.

Coming into the contest, quarterback Peyton Manning and Co. were the league’s best passing attack. Manning was close to another 300-yard passing game today (one yard short), but safties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry came up with a pair of picks, plus linebacker Ray Lewis caused a neck-breaking fumble at the Ravens’ one-yard line to prevent an Indy score.

It was enough to win the game. The offense just didn’t come through on their part of the bargain.

Joe Flacco is experiencing a three-game slump.

In the last three games, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown three interceptions, matching his total for the first seven games of the season. Plus, his first set of picks was offset by 12 touchdown passes. How many passing TDs in his past three games? Zero.

Today’s turnover was the most costly too. Judging by the look on his face, Flacco knew it. This offense needs Flacco to return to form, and fast. The Ravens can’t afford to settle for field goals; they were 0-4 in the red zone today.

Cam’s gameplan was solid, the players just didn’t execute.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s gameplan was good. He established the running game early, and got touches to all three of his running backs.  He coached his unit to play a defensive-type of offense by keeping drives alive and preventing the ball from getting into Manning’s hands. He was aggressive in play-calling and I loved his intensity. When wide receiver Derrick Mason came down with a ridiculous 45-yard catch that he wrestled away from Colts defensive back Jacob Lacey, Cameron came out onto the field to slap Mason on his helmet and celebrated with him.

Cam put them in position, the players simply didn’t execute. The slip-ups are well documented.

Tags: , , , , , ,