Well Ravens Nation, there you have it — it is all over now. The Baltimore Ravens have now been eliminated from playoff contention due to another frustrating day of football against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Are you really surprised? Even as a fan, one would have to submit to the fact that nothing went right from the start of the season. There were huge offseason losses due to injury, trades and free agency. Even with all of the changes, the defense hung in there in Week 17 and for most of the season. Where was the offense?
The Ravens’ secondary could only do so much in a game where they were constantly on the field. While they allowed the Bengals to sustain drives with errors on third down, they put the offense in great field position with four interceptions. Anytime a team’s defense does that, the offense owes that unit points.
Everyone will immediately point to Joe Flacco, and they may have a point with him being the leader of the offense and turning the ball over three times. However, the offense as a whole sputtered throughout the game. The pass protection was subpar. The run game was so bad that the Ravens turned to third-stringer Bernard Scott to carry the load during the first half. Bernard Pierce also sprinkled in some nice carries on the second drive of the first quarter, but that was all.
The receivers seemed to have “alligator” arms on a few of Flacco’s passes and failed to get of the jam. I wasn’t a big fan of Derrick Mason during his time in Baltimore, but the difference between him and the current group of receivers is that Mason would fight to make a catch no matter how Flacco threw the ball. Marlon Brown and Dennis Pitta are the only two I see fighting for the ball.
There is plenty of blame to go around for today’s loss as well as for the horrible season, but the unit that lost the most starters during the offseason should not be the one taking the majority of the blame. They actually showed up this year.