Ravens get blasted by Broncos; Flacco, Harbaugh have long days ahead

December 16, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Ravens get blasted by Broncos; Flacco, Harbaugh have long days ahead

After the Ravens were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs on January 15, 2011, lots of folks in town were bellyaching about the (hopeful) removal of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

At the team’s “State of the Ravens” press conference a week or so later, owner Steve Bisciotti  explained his personal philosophy for retaining Cameron despite an up-and-down offensive performance from the unit he supervised during the regular season and playoffs.

“I know John’s feeling is we like Cam under fire next season as our offensive coordinator,” Bisciotti said that day, effectively supporting his coach by not ursurping his authority and firing Cameron because he has the right to make such a move.

Well, Cameron is gone now, having been dismissed by Bisciotti last Sunday night after the Ravens fell in Washington, 31-28 in OT just hours before.

So, Cameron is no longer under fire.

But someone else is and his name is Joe Flacco.

The Ravens dropped a 3rd straight game on Sunday, getting run out of the gym by the Denver Broncos, 34-17 at M&T Bank Stadium.  It would have been 41-17 or 48-17 if Denver needed bonus points on their checking account.  They basically just walked around throughout the 4th quarter and played keep-away with a 21-point lead.

And with the fan’s scapegoat, Cameron, now no longer part of the problem, Flacco has clearly become public enemy #1.

There’s an argument that he should be, based mainly on a horrible throw at the end of the first half that completely changed the game.  With Denver up 10-0, Flacco drove the offense down the field and had a first and goal on the 4-yard line when the 5th year quarterback tried a quick snap throw in the flat to Anquan Boldin.  The ball was picked off and returned 98 yards for a TD and a 10-7 game suddenly became 17-0.  And, of course, that was all she wrote, as Baltimore fell to 9-5 and dropped consecutive home games for the first time in five seasons.

Should Harbaugh and/or Flacco have called a time-out there?  Absolutely.  They had three to burn – and a rookie offensive coordinator in the booth.  Get a time-out there, get yourself situated, and make the game a 3-point affair heading to the locker room.

Blame that on Harbaugh if you want, or Flacco, since he’s a big boy and he’s been around long enough to know better, but one way or the other, someone has to call a time-out there and get things settled down.

Yes, that throw and the resulting interception return for a TD changed the game.

But I don’t think it cost the Ravens the game.

They weren’t winning this one, no matter how many times they got down there to the 4-yard line.  An undermanned Ravens defense actually did well to only allow Denver 27 points.

This one, honestly, was on Flacco and the offense.  Again.

But the quarterback doesn’t deserve all the blame.  The offensive line continues to be a trainwreck.  The wide receivers looked disinterested most of the afternoon.  And once it got to be 31-3, it almost looked like some guys had – ahem – “stopped trying” if you know what I mean.

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17 Comments For This Post

  1. Towson Black & Gold Says:

    A few things I do NOT understand…

    1) Why not call timeout – you had 3 – with less than a minute to go in the first half and the ball on the five. Take the timeout, get settled and get the TD.

    2) Bolden makes a stupid play – gets penalized 15 for a late hit and they KEEP him in the game? really? He should have been pulled and benched. The game was over. It was a statement, or should have been, by the coaches, that dumb plays will not be tolerated.

    3) How in the world is Joe Flacco still in the game in the final seconds. I said to my father, as we watched, why is he in there, he could get hurt, what’s the point? Two plays and two sacks later – the Ravens were LUCKY he walked off the field…LUCKY.

    4) It’s clear that Suggs wasn’t ready to play today, he’s still injured so why did he risk it further injury “just” to play today. Suggs – the goal is to win the Super Bowl – you’re not helping your team to go out there for less than a quarter, get injured again and possibly be out for the next 3 or 4 weeks.

    5) Why they fired Cam. I don’t have all the stats in front of me but I would find it hard to believe that a team, about to win their division, fired their Offensive Coordinator. I mean everyone ESPN and beyond was questioning this and it’s clear (or should be), it’s not a Cam issue. The offense just isn’t that good – they don’t have enough play makers…beyond Rice. Making a huge transition like that, weeks before the playoffs. Well, as a Steelers fan – all I can say is…thank you.

    Can’t wait to listen to the show this week…all the misery and whining on the airwaves is going to make me one happy camper. Who’s next to fire? Flacco? Harbaugh? Ozzie? I say, fire Matt Weiss, the defensive quality control coach – he MUST be to blame right?

    p.s. don’t be surprised to see Pees get the heav-ho at season’s end – worst Defense in Ravens history…some of it is due to injuries, not all of it.

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Maybe now, you sports writers will acknowledge that Flacco is not a very good QB. When he tried to make a tackle on the interception he should have just kept running out of the stadium. With his inferior play he will be lucky to get a new contract in Balto. With Harbaugh, I would be looking over my shoulder a little more, because if the Ravens don’t make the playoffs changes will be made, it’s all about winning.

  3. sal Says:

    drew you suck go Os

  4. Lisa, Aberdeen Says:

    Great points Drew.

    Joes been in the league long enough. Blame who you want by not calling TO towards end of 1st half but Joe should not have thrown the ball. That changed the entire game. That was a 14 PT swing (7 off board for us and 7 for Denver). I knew we would never recover from such a deficit, not against Manning.

    The offensive line doesn’t help. Drew where is McKinnie? Is he in Johns dog house? I don’t recall seeing him in there Sunday but the Ravens lost my interest early in 3rd. I stuck it out with 7 minutes left in game. I never leave a game early but today I did.

    I’m starting to wonder if we saw the best of Joe already.

  5. Lisa, Aberdeen Says:

    Great points Drew.

    Joes been in the league long enough. Blame who you want by not calling TO towards end of 1st half but Joe should not have thrown the ball. That changed the entire game. That was a 14 PT swing (7 off board for us and 7 for Denver). I knew we would never recover from such a deficit, not against Manning. Joes fumble on 3rd and 1 didn’t help matters either.

    The offensive line doesn’t help. Drew where is McKinnie? Is he in Johns dog house? I don’t recall seeing him in there Sunday but the Ravens lost my interest early in 3rd. I stuck it out with 7 minutes left in game. I never leave a game early but today I did.

    I’m starting to wonder if we saw the best of Joe already.

  6. Unitastoberry Says:

    It’s a bad year folks we had a good run the last 4 years time to reload .

  7. joe of bel air Says:

    Harbaugh is mentioned every week for bonhead decisions that cost the Ravens . Challenging a play that he has no chance of winning, burning timeouts when not necessary, not calling timeouts when needed, and stupid decisions such as not going for 2 points after the Pitta TD. Made absolutely no sense to kick the extra point. Granted they had little chance of winning anyway but at had they gone for 2 it would have been a 2 possession game. Shows me Harbaugh is a terrible game manager.

    As for Flacco, he has completely blown any chance of getting a long term contract. The last complete game he played was 5 weeks ago against the hapless Raiders. First Pittsburgh game the offense produced no TDs. Against San Diego, Flacco didn’t wake up until the 4th quarter. Against Pittsburgh at home Flacco had a decent first half and stunk in the second. Against Washington he had a good first half and nothing in the second and today he stunk for 4 quarters. So in the last 20 quarters Flacco has had 5 good quarters and 15 bad quarters. After Flacco threw the interception at the end of the first half, Harbaugh should have said to Flacco, Joe we are gonna give Tyrod a shot and see if he can’t jumpstart the offense. Why not, Taylor couldn’t do any worse than what we have seen from Flacco the last month

  8. charlie Says:

    drew, that’s a really perceptive point on the lack of attention to detail. you are right, and it explains a lot.

  9. dan Says:

    Come on folks, lighten up!
    how often do we get blown out at home, and then the squeelers lose in O.T. and we make the playoffs thanks to them! It’s x-mas early in B’More!

  10. PghSteve Says:

    The failure to call a TO the near the end of the 1st half mystified me, too. It seems like Harbaugh gets a bonus for each TO he brings into halftime.

    The Ravens had a lot of luck early in the year, and I guess they are lucky to be in the AFC North, where it seems like no one wants the division. Ravens have lost 3 in a row, Steelers lost 4 of 5, at least the Bengals won this week. Congrats to the Ravens for qualifying for the playoffs, for whatever that is worth. Doubt the Steelers make it, but even if they do it won’t be for long.

  11. Dan Says:

    I’ll say this about Flacco in his defense , , he’s better then Boller .

  12. tsnamm Says:

    The Ravens lines on both sides of the ball are suspect…the O line has Joe running for his life against any good team, and the D line can’t get any pressure on the QB without blitzing like crazy.Did they sack Manning at all…I wouldn’t know as I was out of Baltimore today watching the game and CBS cut away from the Ravens/Broncos on the national feed in the 3rd quarter after it was 31-3; to go to what they considered a far more compelling game, Indy/Houston. I don’t recall ever seeing that happen so early in a game in my experience.Next week should be interesting with 2 reeling teams,as the Giants got blasted by Atlanta. Needless to say the Ravens better right the ship in the next 2 weeks, or the term “one and done” comes to mind.

  13. ragman Says:

    this team is just old and slow, time to gut this fish. start at the top- ozzie your brilliance is greatly exaggerated – not many pearls in the past 4 drafts. ( Oher – great movie not much of a lineman) harbaugh, use to defend you but think your message is falling on deaf ears. Joe Flunk Flunk, you may think you are EElite but here in baltimore we know you are just a big steaming pile of dog sheet

  14. Dirk Says:

    One thing I noticed before the game even started. The Broncos were in a perfectly straight line on the sideline for the National Anthem. Almost military precision. The Ravens were all over the place. I told a buddy of mine to look at how disciplined the Broncos were v. the Ravens. I knew the Ravens had no chance to win but this was even more obvious if you witnessed that. Harbaugh has lost the team this year. I just hope it doesn’t carry over to July.

  15. GlenW Says:

    This is the worst 9 win team I’ve ever seen. They won’t win another game this year. Bank on it.
    Cam Camron was a scapegoat. Flacco is not an elite quarterback, and Harbaugh is a terrible game manager. This will the Ravens last winning season for several years.

  16. The Armchair QB Says:

    The question is no longer has Flacco regressed, but…..why? No easy answers for a guy completeing his 5th and, arguably, worst year! But, there’s lots of blame to go around and it starts and, perhaps, stops with the head coach! He continues to demonstrate a lack of “feel” for the game, with bad decisions, poor timeout/clock management and, apparently, personality conflicts as well. The failure to play Bryant McKinnie due to problems relating all the way back to his reporting late to training camp is not just overreaction, but also failure to put the team’s best interest where it belongs…..front and center! These aren’t “choirboys” he’s coaching and this kind of behavior could result in his “losing” the locker room which, as Brian Billick can attest, can and will get you……fired!

  17. Chuck Says:

    There are several problems with this franchise but one thing is abundantly clear. The Ravens need to get out of the Flacco Business, and divest from it long-term.

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