The Ravens (4-2) lost to the Jaguars (2-5) in embarrassing fashion on Monday Night Football. The final score would be 12-7, but don’t let the score fool you. This was an awful game for both teams. Neither offense will be too happy looking at film this week.
The Jaguars actually had moderate success moving the football on the Ravens vaunted defense. But fumble after fumble ended valuable drives that nearly cost the Jacksonville team. The Ravens offense was as bad an offense as you’ll ever see. Flacco and the Ravens didn’t even gain a first down until late in the third quarter. That’s just unacceptable.
The Ravens have redefined the word “inconsistent” in one of the most bizarre seasons I’ve ever witnessed. They downright punish quality football teams. But have looked downright horrible against teams making a push for Andrew Luck in next year’s draft.
The Ravens lose more than just a game on Monday against the Jaguars. They lose first place in the AFC North to the Steelers. They lose respect from the fan base and opposing teams. And most importantly, the coaches are beginning to lose the locker room.
After the game, Terrell Suggs was not too pleased. “It baffles me that Ray Rice only had six carries tonight. This is a Pro Bowl running back we’re talking about.”
Ray Rice actually had 8 carries for 28 yards. But the point was clear. The Ravens defense was not happy about the offensive output on Monday. And it’s clear who Suggs was taking a shot at.
Cam Cameron has been on the hot seat for a long time and his time may be running out. Steve Bisciotti isn’t the type of owner to get too involved in these matters early in the season. But it may be time for Harbaugh to make it for him before he loses the locker room. The last thing this team needs is division in the locker room. In 2006, Coach Billick fired his offensive coordinator Jim Fassel after starting the season 4-2. They went on to win 9 of their next 10 games on their way to a first round bye. Harbaugh has created a winning culture for the Ravens. And this only works if the Ravens are playing like a cohesive unit, not a divided one. It will be interesting to see how Harbaugh handles situations like this going forward.
But all the blame doesn’t fall on Cam Cameron. The offensive line is downright pathetic. Gurode is struggling at left guard. It’s where the majority of the pressure is coming from. Pressure up the middle is a lot worse than pressure from the edge because it comes a lot faster and is almost impossible to evade. Flacco struggles when under pressure. When Flacco has time, he usually does extremely well. But regardless of the play of the offensive line, Flacco needs to play better.
There are absolutely no excuses for this loss. The Ravens will be the first to tell you that. But if they don’t fix their offensive woes immediately, it will cost them a championship.