Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Not Enough to Take Down the Undefeated Colts

The Baltimore Ravens had a hard fought game on Sunday afternoon against the AFC South leading Indianapolis Colts. The Colts came in as one of two remaining undefeated teams, joining only the New Orleans Saints. The Ravens knew that they were going to have to play extremely well to shut down Peyton Manning and his high powered offense, and for the most part, they did. The Ravens came up just short of pulling up a huge upset that would have drastically shaken up the AFC North.

The Ravens defense was able to hold the Colts offense to only 17 points, which in most games would seem like enough to pull off a win. However, once again, the Ravens offense struggled to finish their drives, and were only able to amass five Billy Cundiff field goals for 15 points. Cundiff made five of his six field goal attempts in his Ravens debut, with his only miss seemingly being the could have been game winner. But before people start pointing fingers at Cundiff, we may need to look at a few other situations that could have given the Ravens this must needed win.

With 12:08 left in the fourth quarter, the Ravens got a first and goal on the one yard line, ran the ball three times, and did not get into the end zone. With the Ravens offensive line, and running backs such as Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee, there is no excuse for not getting seven points out of that drive.

The other play game later in the fourth quarter, with 2:49 seconds left. Joe Flacco dropped back to pass, and threw an interception to Gary Brackett on the Indianapolis 13 yard line, well within Cundiff's range to add three points and give the Ravens the lead. No excuse for throwing a pick. It was a great defensive play by Brackett, but as the leader of the offense, Flacco should have been more careful with the ball.

It was an extremely disappointing loss for the Ravens, especially since both the Steelers and the Bengals lost on Sunday. So instead of staying in the same third place position, the Ravens could have moved up to be tied with the Steelers, and only one game back of the Bengals. But since that didn't happen, the Ravens probably can't afford to lose another game, especially one to the Steelers. And they will get their first crack at Pittsburgh come Sunday night when the Steelers visit Baltimore.

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