The Baltimore Ravens’ bubble burst after a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The bubble floated high in week one’s explosive 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but someone let the air out and the Ravens crashed to the ground in Philly.
The Ravens are good at having strong starts with weak follow-up performances. This is the third straight week two loss after a week one win.
The game was full of turnovers, penalties, injuries and botched calls.
It was a tale of two halves for the Ravens as they played decent in the first half and went into half-time with a 17-7 lead. Their lead shrank to 17-14 at the start of the fourth quarter; they couldn’t hold it to it and lost in last minutes when Philly scored a touchdown to win the game.
The Ravens have only themselves to blame; they couldn’t convert and had several missed opportunities including a pass interference call on wide receiver Jacoby Jones which removed his touchdown from the score board.
Quarterback Joe Flacco went from offensive stud, to dud and showed his all too familiar pattern of inconsistency from last season. He went 22 for 42 for 232 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He had a quarterback rating of 66.8.
By comparison, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick went 23 for 32 for 371 yards and one touchdown.
The Ravens did not use their best offensive weapon, running back Ray Rice.
CSN.BALTIMORE’s J. Michael spoke about Rice on SportsNet Central today. According to Michael, the offense was predictable and the Eagles were ready for it. Rice had 16 carries for 99 yards and didn’t get carries late in the game.
Michael also said that head coach John Harbaugh said they had to pass more in the second half because of the way the Eagles were playing. The Ravens passed on first downs and third and long situations. They even passed in third and short situations.
The no-huddle offense was a no-go this week; they need to rethink their game plan to make the offense more effective.
While the replacement referees botched some calls, they aren’t entirely to blame for the Ravens loss. Flacco pointed the finger and blamed the refs saying they the refs were “affecting the integrity of the game.”
The defense had a tough time containing the Eagles; they gave up nearly 500 yards. Even with the Eagles four turnovers, the Ravens couldn’t pull off the win. They need to improve their pass rush.
On a positive note, 2012 top draft pick, linebacker Courtney Upshaw had his first NFL start. He played for Paul Kruger who was out with a back injury. Upshaw had six tackles including one tackle for a loss.
Rookie kicker Justin Tucker was perfect on all three field goals. He hit them from 56, 51 and 48 yards.
After an impressive performance in week one, it was hard to watch the Ravens fall apart. Thankfully it is still early, too soon to push the panic button. They have to put the loss behind them and focus on the next game.
The Ravens need to evaluate their mistakes and find ways to fix them so they won’t happen again. I hope this isn’t the start of another roller coaster season, I’m not sure I can handle the ride, but I have faith that the Ravens can.
The New England Patriots roll into town next week for a nationally televised game on Sunday night. With the nation watching; it is time for the Ravens to shine again.