I don’t know what else to say. It sucked. I’m at the game looking at my phone and I see Tampa in FG range to beat Cincy and the Ravens up by 10 points so I started writing first place blogs in my head. It was in the bag. Easiest schedule in the AFC North with a half game cushion the rest of the way. We had it right in our hands and we couldn’t close it out. AT HOME. And for that reason I think I have to call this the most devastating regular season loss I can remember. It may be far from over, but that was a dick punch loss if I’ve ever seen one.
But we did do some good things. Here are some quick things that usually win you football games:
– Torrey Smith played fantastic. One handed-grab was splendid. 2nd touchdown on the slant was too easy. When he plays well, we rarely lose.
– Forsett was a beast again. He should be getting 24 carries, and probably deserves more if we’re being honest. 1st Ravens back to post 3 100-yd games in a row since Jamal Lewis back in 03. Congrats to him topping 1,000 on the year.
– Flacco played turnover free football. But he could’ve been better and I’ll touch on that more in a minute.
– We had good field position most of the day thanks to the Chargers being deathly afraid of Jacoby Jones. And he returned one deep into their territory. More on that possession in a minute as well.
– We were 7/12 on 3rd down. So hard to lose a football game when you move the chains and don’t even punt until the last minute of the 3rd.
– And we won the turnover battle by 2. BY TWO! AT HOME! AND WE STILL FOUND A WAY TO LOSE! Unfucking real.
And here’s why we unquestionably deserved to lose the football game:
– If I had to say it in one sentence, it’s that the secondary blows. Simple as that. Diced up all day. Couldn’t make a play when we needed it. Not even once. They’re going to be the death of this team if they’re not already.
– Know how bad they were? The Chargers converted their first nine 3rd downs. All 9! They faced 14 third downs and we only stopped 2 of them. Those stops were on 12 and 22 yard attempts. Gross. What’s worse is that we committed penalties on 4 of those attempts.
– 14 penalties for 98 yards. Yeah. Dumervil jumping offsides 3 times was infuriating, especially when a potentially back-breaking sack was negated.
– Rivers was 34/37 on passes under 20 yards. Linebackers might be as responsible as the secondary when you see a stat like that.
– Steve Smith stunk. Absolutely stunk and he admitted as such after the game. There was a 3 play sequence where he spectated instead of blocking as Jacoby Jones picked up yards after a catch. Then he dropped a 20 or so yard completion. And then he negated a 7 yard run with an illegal shift penalty. Extremely out of character.
– 7 red zone trips. Only 3 TD’s. 4 of our 5 failed 3rd downs came in the red zone. Game could’ve been a blowout if we’re more efficient down there.
– We’re not talking about any of this if we just pick up another goddamn first down. It’s easy to play Dr. Hindsight. But that playcall on 3rd and 4 sucked and Flacco wasn’t smart on the play either. No reason to throw it away there. Tucker is money whether it’s a 31 yarder or a 38 yarder. Be a veteran QB and just lay down. He gifted the 2 minute warning for Rivers on his last drive.
Look, I could sit here and complain about the officiating because it was pretty poor. Let the boys play. But the fact of the matter is that you don’t deserve to win games when you do just a couple of these things that I just listed, and we did all of them. And we benefitted from a few calls ourselves. What’s done is done. We likely gotta run the table to win the division at this point, and the wild card picture is as crowded as I can remember. Big tough road game down in Miami, the fellas gotta get to work and go steal a win. Yesterday sucked but it ain’t over.