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Ravens Offense Stumbles Despite Being Given New Life With Turnovers and Returns

Posted Oct 15, 2017

Baltimore's offense scored just 11 points and posted 291 total yards. It failed to capitalize on great field position in overtime.


The glow surrounding the Ravens offense after last week’s win in Oakland didn’t last long.

Baltimore’s offense started ineffective, turned sloppy, then fell flat after being given new life in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Chicago Bears at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens offense managed just 11 points and 291 total yards. It did convert on a two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, but that was one of its few highlights.

“Offensively, we want to score points and we want first downs,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s what we’re shooting for, and that’s what we’re working for. We’re certainly capable of it. We need to get it going.”

Joe Flacco was 24-of-41 passing for just 180 yards (4.7 average) and two interceptions, giving him a quarterback rating of 48.8. The numbers look bad, and Flacco wasn’t happy with his performance, but the fault for Sunday’s offensive struggles shouldn’t fall completely on his shoulders.

The Ravens were already without one of their top wide receivers as Jeremy Maclin was scratched because of a shoulder injury. The other receivers didn’t pick up the slack.

Both of Flacco’s interceptions were the result of errors by his receivers. One pass bounced off Breshad Perriman’s hands and popped up for Bears’ Bryce Callahan to haul in, and the other ricocheted off Chris Moore’s shoulder pads and was returned for a touchdown.

“Turning the ball over hurts you,” Flacco said. “No matter when they come, how they come, where they come – it’s going to hurt you to turn the ball over. It’s going to be tough for you to win football games when you do that.”

After getting off to a fast start last week in Oakland with a 52-yard throw and catch from Flacco and Mike Wallace on the first play of the game, the Ravens were flat early against the Bears.

They went three-and-out on their first drive and managed just 21 yards in the first quarter (three possessions) against the Bears’ No. 6-ranked defense.

“It’s a matter of starting fast,” tight end Benjamin Watson said. “It’s tough in this league to come back when you’re down. So that’s why it’s very important to be able to start early, score points early on, at least to sustain long drives early in the game.”

Running back Alex Collins generated some spark with a 30-yard carry in the second quarter, but tight end Maxx Williams quickly negated that. At the end of what would have been a first-down catch, with the Ravens in scoring range, Williams was stripped of the ball and the Bears recovered.

On the very next drive, it was the interception that bounced off Perriman’s hands, despite Flacco delivering a perfect pass down the right sideline. Perriman (concussion) left the game for good after taking a knee to the head during the interception.

Two drives that could have delivered points instead ended with turnovers.

On the Ravens’ next drive, wide receiver Michael Campanaro, who took on a larger role in the absence of Maclin and Perriman, dropped what would have been a first-down catch over the middle, resulting in a three-and-out.

The Ravens strung together one of their best drives of the game on the following possession, but it fizzled at the 9-yard line when wide receiver Chris Matthews seemed to stumble in the back of the end zone as Flacco tried to hit him on the run.

The most brutal mistake was committed by Moore. With the Ravens trailing by four points in the fourth quarter, Baltimore’s offense was finally on the move. Flacco threw a deep pass to Moore, but it bounced off his shoulder pads and was intercepted by Bears safety Adrian Amos, who weaved back down the field for a 90-yard touchdown to give Chicago a 24-13 lead.

“I should have caught that,” Moore said. “As a receiver, I have to make those plays for Joe. That’s on me.”

Just before the end of regulation, the offense got the ball on its own 44-yard line. Flacco completed a pass to wide receiver Mike Wallace for 16 yards, which would have set up a field-goal shot for Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, but the Ravens had to burn a timeout before an earlier field goal, and time expired before Flacco could spike the ball.

The Ravens offense was set up by two defensive turnovers, but got only three points out of it. Two special teams touchdowns sent the game to overtime. And once again, Baltimore’s offense was given a chance to win the game.

It just had to get in field-goal position – maybe another 20 yards or so – for Tucker.

Baltimore had the ball at its own 40-yard line following a shanked punt. The Ravens ran the ball twice with Javorius Allen. The first got 6 yards (a solid start), but just 2 yards on second down. Flacco threw incomplete to Moore on third down.

“It is disappointing,” Flacco said. “You need a field goal and we can’t get it. It is definitely tough.”

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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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