BIRDS HOUSE: Not again..

Written by on December 12, 2012 in Featured, Ravens, Sports - No comments

Hmm, let me see. Ravens are ahead late in the game, and then blow the lead. I wonder if I just recycle the article I wrote last week my editor will notice….

After blowing a late lead to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens apparently learned nothing as they did the same against the Washington Redskins last weekend, eventually losing in overtime, 31-28.

Maybe the Ravens need Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson to help close out games, because they sure are having issues in that department.

Another odd similarity to the Steelers debacle was that Baltimore yet again failed to shut down a backup quarterback at the end of the game.

Incidentally, the Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Monday, and while I’m not blaming him for the loss to Washington, I have been at odds with some of his decisions over the years.

This game, however, fell on the defense. Already playing without leader Ray Lewis, Baltimore had to deal with Terrell Suggs being out as well, and it showed on the last drive of regulation.

With the Ravens up 28-20 with under five minutes remaining in the game and Washington needing to travel 86 yards for a score and also needing a two point conversion, Robert Griffin III marched the ‘Skins down the field like a seasoned veteran. RG3 completed four of seven passes for 49 yards and also rushed for 17 more before getting knocked out of the game and giving way to fellow rookie QB Kirk Cousins.

Cousins completed both of his passes, one a 15-yard pass to Leonard Hankerson, and then an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, with 29 seconds left in the game. Needing the two point conversion to tie, Cousins took a QB draw into the endzone to tie the game.

Baltimore would get the ball first in overtime, but a three-and-out gave the ball back to Washington. After a stellar punt return set the Redskins up at Baltimore’s 24 yard line, Washington kicker Kai Forbath kicked a game-winning, 34-yard field goal to hand the Ravens their second straight defeat.

For the game, Joe Flacco played decently well, completing 16 of 21 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception. Receiver Anquan Boldin caught three passes for 78 yards and two scores. Ray Rice had himself a nice game, rushing for 121 yards and a score, this time getting the ball in the fourth quarter.

Luckily for Baltimore, Pittsburgh was upset by the San Diego Chargers, meaning Baltimore’s two-game lead in the AFC North was still intact.

The schedule does not get any easier for the Ravens though, which makes this loss hurt even more.  The Ravens host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos next Sunday and then host the New York Giants the week after.

None of those games are easy, meaning the Ravens will need to find a way to close games out on both sides of the ball. With a new offensive coordinator and with Lewis and Suggs returning soon, hopefully, I think we should be moving in the right direction.

by Andy Mindzak
birds@baltimoreguide.com

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