I’ll tell you all something that happened on Sunday that I guarantee NONE OF YOU know until you read it in about 10 seconds. This comes to me directly from someone on the Ravens staff who spoke to me on Tuesday morning about the Patriots loss. When the Ravens got the ball back in the 4th quarter after New England scored to make it 20-17, the 2nd and 3 play on that first series was a Le’Ron McClain run. Remember it? McClain scratched and clawed his way to a 2-yard gain, which set up the much-discussed 3rd and 1 quarterback sneak from Joe Flacco that got stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Here’s the point (and none of you know this — and neither did I, until someone on the Ravens staff told me about it) — On the McClain run on 2nd and 3…he ran the wrong play. The play was designed for McClain to follow behind Michael Oher and Ben Grubbs. That was the call. McClain, though, took the ball and went outside left, where he had no blocking help, no gap to shoot through and little chance of doing much more than getting to the line of scrimmage. That McClain was able to fight for 2 yards was a testament to him, as he did it all himself. But that doesn’t change the fact that Oher and Grubbs blew a hole open wide enough for the Ravens team bus to get through and McClain wasn’t there…because he ran the wrong play.
That’s NOT stuff you’ll read in The Sun or on any of those fly-by-night “we bleed purple” web-sites that are nothing more than glorified gathering places for folks who think they should be coaching the club. You won’t hear this from the “reporter” covering the team at 105.7 and no one at 1370 will give you this information.
I’m giving it to you today to shed a little light on the theory that SOMEONE has to be blamed. In this case, you can definitely blame SOMEONE for the team’s inability to pick up a first down on that series. But Cam Cameron isn’t the guy to blame. If you want to directly blame someone (and I don’t, per-se, because I think Flacco has to do better with the 3rd and 1 play), you should start with the guy who ran the wrong play on 2nd down. That wasn’t Cam Cameron.
The three other plays in the final 26 minutes of the game that really unsettled the Ravens were, in order: Billy Cundiff’s inexplicable kick-out-of-bounds after the Ravens went up 20-10. Chris Carr’s decision to NOT fair catch an overtime punt at the Ravens’ 42 yard line, instead letting the ball hit and careen backwards another 17 yards. Le’Ron McClain’s overtime penalty that pushed the Ravens 10 yards deeper in their own territory and helped to give New England good field position on their game-winning drive.