Billy Cundiff’s kick-off gaffe won’t show up in the box score, but booting the ball out of bounds after his 4th quarter field goal was a field-position killer that Brady took complete advantage of…and oddly enough, Cundiff has been spectacular on kick-offs all year.
Flacco’s 3rd and 1 QB sneak that came up woefully short in the 4th quarter will be blamed on Cam Cameron, but the truth is this: Joe, 3 years in now, should be “big game” enough to smell a stacked line on a play like that and either call something else at the line of scrimmage or take a time-out to give Cameron and Harbaugh a chance to re-consider their play call. If you can’t get one yard when it matters, you don’t deserve to win anyway.
Le’Ron McClain will share the goat’s horns after this one for taking a dumb penalty in overtime that pushed the Ravens 10 yards deeper into their territory. As far as penalties go, it was a dumb one. But a penalty is a penalty is a penalty. It could have been holding, interference or hitting someone after the whistle…it still sends them 10yards back. In McClain’s case, it just came at a horrible time and in a horrible spot on the field. If that happens at the Ravens 42, it’s not that big of a deal. But it happened deep in their own end and it effectively cost them 10 yards on Sam Koch’s punt two plays later…if you do the simple math. And that 10 yards made Gostkowski’s game-winner a 35-yard effort instead of a 45-yarder. Big difference.
The Ravens will rebound next Sunday with a home thumping of the Bills and will stroll into the bye week at 5-2. Any of us, prior to the season, would have signed up for 5-2 at the bye given the team’s tough first month and a half, schedule wise.
It’s only one loss.
They were in it until the very end.
But the Ravens weren’t good enough to pull it off on Sunday.
And there will be plenty of questions this week about coaching, strategies and “killer instinct”.
All of those questions are fair.