There was a lot that went wrong during the Baltimore Ravens‘ 23-20 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, but one thing that was present in the locker room following the defeat was accountability.
It was a collective loss for the Ravens as all three facets of the game were not perfected. Special teams left some creases open on certain returns but played fairly well for the most part. The defense kept the Ravens in the game, but they were also hurt by this unit as the Bills held the ball and grounded and pounded this defense into the turf. Offensively, five interceptions by quarterback Joe Flacco, lackluster offensive line play and an inability to ever establish a balanced offensive attack — the Ravens ran nine times — doomed this Ravens team.
However, the way this exceptional organization has always operated is not to throw the blame game around, but to be like, “Hey, I messed up. Here’s what I have to work on and let’s move forward.”
Head coach John Harbaugh admitted to the media on Monday that he abandoned the running game, and it was his call to pass as much as they did. When John feels something gives his team the best chance to win a football game, he is going to roll with it, and I commend him for having that stance. I don’t commend him for his view of what Terrell Suggs did at the end of the game, but that’s a whole other story. John also took accountability for the fact that his team played somewhat undisciplined football in Orchard Park, NY and that it will have to change. One of the more surprising things he did was virtually call out tight end Ed Dickson for his inability to get the job done once again.
When a coach does this, you have to wonder if it is a motivational technique for Dickson or if he is signifying that changes to the personnel groups are on the horizon. I wonder how Visanthe Shiancoe feels after being cut at the tight end position where the Ravens desperately need help?
Also, following the disappointing loss to the Bills, Flacco stood up to the mic and essentially said “my bad.” After all, he did throw five interceptions and an incredibly bad one to Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso. People have been asking where the leadership was on this team; there are your two leaders. Harbaugh and Flacco are the voices of that locker room and know that when they make mistakes they have to be the first to admit them. This kind of leadership isn’t conventional because accountability doesn’t exist that much in our society anymore, but guys appreciate when blame isn’t tossed around and faults are put on the burden of the two most important figureheads on the football team.