Monday, September 20, 2010

Flacco turns in miserable game, Ravens lose to Bengals

Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason are disgusted after the Ravens' 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was hard to watch.

After so much hope for a new high-flying offense this past offseason, the Ravens have only scored 20 points two weeks into the season.

Yes, the first two games were on the road against two playoff contending teams in the Jets and Bengals. And yes, it takes time for an offense to gel.

But it was still hard to watch.

The Ravens had only 259 yards of total offense yesterday, and couldn't figure out the Bengals defense yet again. In the last 3 games against the Bengals, all losses, the Ravens have been held to 14, 7 and 10 points. Joe Flacco threw 4 interceptions, a career high, which was the difference in the game, as the Bengals had only 253 yards of total offense themselves. Each team had 14 first downs.

Flacco played what was probably his worst game as a pro. He looked slow, both physically and mentally. He threw off his back foot. And he routinely forced passes into double and triple coverage. He finished with 154 yards passing, 1 TD and 4 interceptions for a passer rating of 23.8.


The Ravens fared a little better on the ground, with Ray Rice rushing for 87 yards and a 5.4 yard per carry average. It makes you wonder why offensive coordinator Cam Cameron didn't stick with the run a little more when it was apparent that Flacco was having trouble making his throws. Cameron seems hellbent on making Flacco the next Drew Brees, but clearly Flacco is not ready for it.

In addition to the horrendous Flacco turnovers, the officiating didn't help out the Ravens either. Ray Lewis was called for tripping Bengals QB Carson Palmer when he was blocked and fell over, and Palmer fell over Lewis. Terrell Suggs was called for roughing the passer when he tackled Palmer as soon as Palmer released the ball. It looked like a fine play to this Ravens fan, as well as many fans across the NFL, since many football experts agreed that it was a bad call. But in the end, both penalties prolonged Bengals drives that resulted in field goals.

The Ravens defense played well. They still have not allowed a touchdown all season. They need to get after the QB a little better. Carson Palmer was only pressured intermittently and sacked only once.

Overall it was a game to forget. Despite Flacco's 4 interceptions and the offense's struggles, they still had a chance to win the game. The bad officiating also plays a part, but compared to Flacco's poor play, the bad calls are microscopic by comparison.

Thankfully, the 0-2 Browns visit Baltimore next week. Hopefully the Ravens can fix what went wrong yesterday...because there was a lot that went wrong.

It would be nice for Cam Cameron to shelf his desires to make the Ravens offense a passing offense and return to the run. It worked in 2008 and in the second half of 2009. It's clear this team cannot open up games passing on opposing teams. They still need the run to set up the pass and to set-up the play action pass.

Ugh. There's no other way to describe yesterday's loss. Just ugh.

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