Bizarre end-game decisions continue to haunt Ravens

December 14, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Between now and the end of the season, maybe the Ravens will figure it out.

Or not.

At this stage, I’m almost willing to bet on “or not”.

Once again on Monday night, the Ravens put on their lifeguard outfit and rescued a team from the undertow by virtue of mismanaging the clock down the stretch. This time, unlike last Sunday night when their mistakes helped Pittsburgh win, the outcome wasn’t completely influenced by those gaffes because Baltimore somehow pulled a rabbit of their hat with an overtime victory.

This much is certain: The Ravens biggest weakness this year has been their inability to close out games. And while most of those failings have fallen on the shoulders of the defense, it always seems like each of those games includes another common factor…the Ravens offense goes into shutdown mode for a lengthy period of time, thus enabling the opposing offense to get into a flow that helps them get back into the contest.

Fact: The Ravens can not put teams away using the run. I’m not sure why, because in the normal course of most games, the Ravens are generally capable of running the ball, but Baltimore’s lack of killer instinct on offense can be traced to the team’s running game fizzling when it matters most.

Monday night in Houston, Cam Cameron inexplicably once again made another strange play call in the game’s waning stages as the Ravens poor clock management came back to haunt them when the Texans were handed an additional 40 seconds or so prior to their game-tying drive. Faced with a 3rd and 2 — and having just executed two straight running plays that gained 4 yards each — Cameron elected to throw the ball for some strange reason…and when the pass fell incomplete, the Texans came up gasping for air and grabbed the life vest that was thrown to them.

You’ve just run the ball for 4 yards. And then, again, for more 4 yards. You need 2 more yards to basically put the game away. The Texans have just burned (continued)