The Ravens came up short for the second week in a row at home to the Washington Redskins yesterday. This loss was particularly heart breaking for Baltimore, who felt they outplayed the Redskins everywhere except the scoreboard, but that’s ultimately all that matters.
Losing back-to-back games at home is never good, and now the Ravens will travel to New Jersey next week to face a Giants team feeling a bit of desperation.
Changes need to be made on offense (more on that below) if the Ravens want to succeed this season. This defense is too good to waste a season because the offense can’t get it together.
There wasn’t a lot to like against Washington, but here are my main points.
What I Liked
- Marc Trestman’s Play Calling. Trestman did not call a good game yesterday. The reason I put his play calling as something I liked is because it caused him to be fired early this morning. Terrance West came out on fire, continuing his strong play since taking over as the feature back a week ago. The fact that Trestman called only seven run plays after the first quarter is ridiculous. Trestman consistently under-utilized Joe Flacco’s strong arm even though Baltimore has plenty of field stretching receivers on the roster.
- C. J. Mosley Continuing A Strong Year. Through five games this year Mosley has almost doubled (3) his career interceptions (2). Mosley took a step back in terms of progression and production last year after a Pro Bowl rookie season. Many analysts saw his pass defense as a major problem going forward. The game seems slower for Mosley and his confidence appears to be soaring after becoming a leader on the No. 5 defense in the league.
- Terrance West’s Production. West has given the Ravens reason to keep him as a feature back for at least the next few weeks, although he ran well against two of the worst run defenses in the league this year. He will be given two tougher run defenses the next two weeks in the Giants and Jets. We will have a better understanding of his game going into the bye week.
What I Didn’t Like
- Bad Special Teams. John Harbaugh’s special teams units during his Ravens career have been mostly above average. He has a strong special teams background and plays a very efficient scheme, that can’t be denied. Yesterday the Ravens allowed two long returns, one resulting in a long touchdown. Harbaugh’s special teams rarely give up a long return, let alone two in one game. Maybe it’s the players that are the problem, because Harbaughs’ scheme has proven itself for a long time. The fake field goal pass on fourth down was a bone-headed decision, one I hope Harbaugh learns from going forward. If you’re going to go for it on 4th-and-2, send out your Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
- Why Can’t We Score? 10 points against a depleted, weak Redskins defense with the weapons the Ravens have on offense is unacceptable. Flacco again spread it out to nine different targets, threw the ball 46 times, yet only gained 210 yards and threw one touchdown. Trestman could not find balance on a team stocked with weapons. Trestman being fired could be the spark the Ravens need on offense.
- Abandoning The Run. Trestman has done this his entire career. The Ravens threw the ball 47 times compared to only 19 runs. West averaged 8.6 yards per carry on 11 runs, but was only given the ball four times after the first quarter. Kenneth Dixon made his NFL debut to the tune of three carries for negative one yard. Baltimore needs to find balance on their offense.
- Joe Flacco. Flacco has looked off for two games straight now. His accuracy has been off and he has not been efficient. His longest pass went for 15 yards against a defense that was missing two starters in the secondary, along with Josh Norman for part of the first half. Flacco was noticeably unhappy with Trestman’s offense, and just like with Cam Cameron, Flacco got his way in the end. The Ravens will do anything to make their Franchise QB happy, and now he must perform. He has proven he can play well against tough defenses, and he will have two stiff tests in the next two weeks.
- Steve Smith Sr.’s Injury. Injuries happen, it’s unfortunate but it’s also inevitable. Hopefully Smith Sr. will recover and return soon, because the offense depends on the 37-year old. When Smith Sr. went down, so did the offense. The passing game relies too much on Smith Sr. With the weapons the Ravens employ, there should be no reason that the entire offense is out of sync without him on the field.
- Unlike with the loss against Oakland, this loss didn’t have too much optimism. Holding an offense like Washington to 10 total points (six from special teams) should be enough to win a game at home. The inability to score 17 points on a weak defense is concerning. Flacco needs to sharpen his game, and the Ravens need to run the ball more. The defense has been a bright spot and is solid from top to bottom. They made enough plays to win the game. The offense did not, and needs to turn up the heat with two more games before the mid-season bye.
Week Six Preview
- The Ravens head to the Meadowlands to face a reeling New York Giants squad coming off three straight losses. New York has dangerous potential on offense and a revamped defense. The Giants spent big on their defensive line and secondary and made drastic improvements over last year. The Ravens are running out of excuses. They need to tighten up their offense and figure things out over the next two weeks as they have five divisional games after week eight.
Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early on Friday morning following a car crash about a mile from the Ravens’ team facility, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
Per the report: Officers responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a tree on the 10000 block of Dolfield Road at about 6:48 a.m. Friday morning, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said.
Collins, 24, was arrested, however charges were not made public at the time of this writing.
Ravens vice president of public relations Chad Steele told The Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with law enforcement and is aware of the situation involving Collins.
Collins is coming off a down year with Baltimore after a breakout campaign in 2017. Collins managed only 411 yards rushing in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve back in December, ending his season early.
Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football
Former NFL running back Ray Rice, who had been working to try and get a second chance in the NFL over the past couple of years, is no longer pursuing a comeback.
“I’ll be the first one to say it; I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football” Rice said, during an interview on CBS This Morning.
“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most.”
Rice was suspended indefinitely back in 2014 when a video surfaces showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Rice while the two were alone in an elevator.
Rice was never picked up by another team following the conclusion of his suspension, and his release from the Baltimore Ravens.
Rice said that he sees “similarities” between his situation and the one of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was recently cut loose by the team when a video surfaced showing him pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway.
“Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this that and the other— I actually got my second chance” Rice said of Hunt, who cleared waivers and is now a free agent.
“During my darkest moments, and I used to ask myself, ‘How could she even be—want to support me?’ … That’s understandable. But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident. That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized, and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”
Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices
The Baltimore Ravens are attempting to win back fans and their latest plan is making a big step toward doing just that as the team announced on Tuesday that they will reduce concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium in 2018.
The Ravens have been on a mission to bring back fans who were angered by some players’ national anthem protests coupled with their 3-year playoff drought.
A series of moves have demonstrated their efforts. The team invited fans to ask questions at a media pre-draft news conference held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and also have had team president Dick Cass meet and talk to fan clubs.
While the team has sold out every game during their 20-year history at M&T Bank Stadium, empty seats grew in numbers as the 2017 season wore on, and the no-shows are very obvious.
The organization is taking this initiative very seriously.
“It’s something I would really like to take a hard look at, and at least, come up with select items that we can do,” Bisciotti said back in February of this year.
“If it means us … I can’t make Aramark do that with me, but I can make them go along as long as it’s my share of the profits that I’m waiving. Yeah, I’d like to take a look at that. I think we could probably do that.”
There is an official news conference scheduled for Thursday where the Ravens will officially announce price reductions on concessions.
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