Someone has to say it, so I will: Lots of guys didn’t think or try all that hard vs. Denver

December 17, 2012 | Drew Forrester


I watched those two run routes in the 3rd and 4th quarter and it was mostly a jog for both.  I’ve been a huge Anquan Boldin fan in his time here, but Sunday was a shocking display of lack of effort from him when the game was out-of-hand.  He did try really hard on that silly personal foul penalty in the fourth quarter, where he finally sprinted about ten yards to shove a Denver player from behind for no reason at all.  That he wasn’t immediately benched after that penalty shows, again, a lack of thinking from John Harbaugh.  He should remember that a stupid penalty like that cost him a chance to go to the Super Bowl back in 2009 when one of his players showed an alarming lack of discipline by hitting a player out of bounds in the final minutes of the AFC title game.  Boldin’s been very good for this club, but he’s not above being disciplined when the need calls for it and yesterday would have sent a message that EVERYONE on the club has to think and play smart – no matter what the score – or they can sit and watch.

Smith, who clearly has been struggling over the last six weeks, meandered around in the second and third quarters like the student-manager would if the college coach asked him to run a few patterns while the #1 receiver went to take a leak during practice.  When Tandon Doss is the wide receiver putting forth the most effort and running the crisp routes, you’re in trouble.  And that’s with no disrespect intended to Doss, who stepped up yesterday and looked useful as a slot receiver.  I don’t know what’s been going on with Torrey Smith, but on Sunday vs. Denver, he rarely ran a route to its completion and on most occasions he jogged through it until the play around him was finished.


His effort on the last two plays of the game was indicative of give-up, plain and simple.  Maybe he was shocked that Jim Caldwell sent in two passing plays with the game over.  Perhaps he was fatigued – insert your Bryant McKinnie comment here – and just didn’t have any gas left in the tank. Some would say that Oher’s just not that good and he’s a liability on every play that calls for pass protection.  Whatever it was, he offered no resistance against his opponent on those last two throws and Flacco could have paid for it dearly.


Dodging the media after a loss is never cool.  I don’t care who it is.  I never have.  On occasions back in the mid 2000’s when Ray Lewis had a propensity for ducking out after home losses, I called him out.  To Ray’s credit, he’s been MUCH better with that kind of stuff in the Harbaugh era.  But Terrell Suggs waving the media off yesterday was bush-league.  Period.  You’re the guy making the most money on the team and you played in the game.  Not speaking to the press afterwards is unacceptable.  As the teacher said to Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club, “I expected more from a varsity letterman”.


The throw at the end of the first half was terrible.  That Joe, five years in, didn’t call a time-out there and “run his own show” might tell you something about him in the same way it tells you something about the head coach.  To Flacco’s credit, he faced the media after the game and answered every question thrown at him, unlike others in the locker room.  But on the field, he’s costing himself money with every loss, every overthrow and every turnover.  My take on Flacco is simple:  He’s pressing.  Big time.  He hasn’t suddenly lost his ability to quarterback in the NFL.  But – as the saying goes in golf – it’s “paralysis by analysis” with athletes.  The more you think about it, the more you get in your own way.  Flacco, right now, can’t get out of his own way.  Is it his contract situation?  Sure, I’d assume that has something to do with it.  I wrote that last week when I gave Ozzie a few slaps for letting him play the season as a “lame duck”.  He’s pressing for a bunch of reasons, but there’s no doubt that his inconsistent play has really staggered the Ravens over the last three weeks.

In summary, losing 34-17 to a really good Broncos team isn’t “unacceptable”.

Not thinking, not trying, not playing with discipline, however, simply can’t be accepted, no matter if you’re 9-5, clinched a playoff spot, etc.

Sunday was a rarity in Baltimore, but if I didn’t point out those mistakes, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

Unlike some of the Ravens, I’m still trying despite the outcome.




13 Comments For This Post

  1. RJ Says:

    DF, your article is Spot-On … well-done! I could not agree with you more! What infuriates me are the mental mistakes – Harbs does not appear to hold these primadonnas accountable. I would have benched Williams, for sure, after that 15 yard penalty; by not demonstrating this sort of leadership, he condones this sort of behavior! Shame on you John – I expect more from the Head Coach!

  2. barry Says:

    harbough better be careful or he might be out of a job next year.
    ist and goal on the 4 yd line with 3 time outs on the board ther is no excuse fo not trying a run or two. is it lack of mental capacity and game planning.
    they had to back into the playoffs, thats a shamful excuse.

  3. Over40 Don Says:

    Hey Drew, any idea what the Orioles might be doing in the draft for the 2013 season?

  4. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Flacco, Harbaugh, Newsome and the rest should not be so secure in there jobs as they think they are. Accountability does not exist on this Raven team and that’s a shame.

  5. Lisa, Aberdeen Says:

    Great points.

  6. Robert Canady Says:

    Nice piece Drew and very good and valid points. Speaking selfishly,as a fan of the team down I-95, I sure hope they can get things turned around in time for the Giants on Sunday.

  7. charlie Says:

    drew, i agree w/what you write here. what does it all add up to, though? i’m not being argumentative, instead i really wonder what they ought to, or even what they can, do at this point. is it the kind of thing that shouldn’t be happening this late in the season and therefore leads to an early playoff exit? maybe that’s all that there is. . . or can stuff this intrinsic be fixed the fly? what do you think?

  8. Frank Says:

    I agree with all of your points Drew, this team gave up in the 2nd half yesterday. OUR TEAMS NEVER GIVE UP! But this one did, and I put that on the Head Coach. Ozzie messed up big time not having Joe signed going into the season – not for 20 Million – but signed, and now this is all in Joe’s head and it’s going to cost us a playoff run.

    I’ll bet the owner is some kinda pissed off!!!

    On the bright side… Best band in America at 1st Mariner Tuesday!

  9. jpetrosino Says:

    The players gave up once they saw how incompentant Flacco was on the very first drive when he fumbled the ball on a QB sneak which would have given them a first down withing fld goal range.

    Instead, Flacco cost us 6 pts early than another 14 points on the TD-Pick. That’s 20 pts Flacco gave to the other team. How else are the other players suppose to reach when the dude who holds the ball is throwing the game away like a clown. Embarasing.

  10. The Armchair QB Says:

    These things may be “symptoms” of more serious problems within the locker room where, as I commented elsewhere, Harbaugh may be “losing” his team………..

  11. Raven BB Says:

    Great article and spot on. Baltimore people hate change when we had a great TEAM. We had a GREAT defense(no O)with many GREAT players who could play to a good defense with guys(getting old) who could MAKE plays(ok O) to a BAD defense(and just as BAD O) with guys who can’t make plays. Total offensive rank in the mid 20’s and total D around 30th. Yes we are in the play offs and we need to live the dream now. What till next year when we are at the bottom looking up, no play offs, and go through a rough 3 years.

  12. Mike Says:


    Are you going to ask Harbs about this today? (DF: I’m not sure what, exactly, you mean by “ask Harbs about this”. I have a couple of questions lined up, yes. He answered the two-point conversion question yesterday — said they didn’t consider it — and the time-out before the half question…so there’s no need to ask those again. I have others planned. Hopefully I get them in or someone else does.)

  13. Art Lawrence Says:

    thanks for the insight and analysis, great post. Doesn’t get any easier going forward with Giants desperate for a win…..

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