Five thoughts on the Ravens’ 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field:
Refs Blew Calls, But Didn’t Decide Game
A lot of elements contributed to the Ravens’ inability to win a game in which they led most of the way. Some of those elements – i.e., the questionable calls of the replacement officials – can’t be controlled. And hey, while the refs did blow a lot of calls, they didn’t decide the game. “It went both ways,” Ravens linebacker
Still, Lewis Is Right About Need For Officiating Change
Having given the replacement refs a pass of sorts in the above paragraph as far as determining the outcome of this game, let me state that I agree with Lewis that the NFL has to do something to get them off the field and get the regular refs back. When a lowkey non-complainer like Flacco says the integrity of the game is being threatened, as he did after this game, the time to act has arrived. Please understand: While the Ravens were barking about the officials and the calls after the game, they weren’t blaming them for the defeat, as they shouldn’t. They were just stating the obvious, that this game was a borderline abomination between the dubious calls and hesitant game management. It lasted long enough for autumn’s leaves to turn and drop. And two two-minute warnings in the fourth quarter? Failure to keep proper track of timeouts? Come on. The fans deserve better, as do the players. But the league’s see-no-evil approach is only going to cause more problems if this continues.
Tucker Over Cundiff Was Right Call
This might be obvious but it needs to be stated: The Ravens made the right call in going with rookie kicker
Defense Hanging On For Dear Life
Feel free to focus on the overturned fumble call that preceded Michael Vick’s winning touchdown run. It did have a major impact, needless to say, and Ray Lewis, for one, thought it was wrong. (Confession: I thought it was an incompletion and the refs got that one right, unlike the offensive pass interference call on
Up-Tempo Offense Still Best Approach
Even though they lost a game with offensive malfunctions playing a key role, the Ravens shouldn’t lose their gall and start drifting away from the up-tempo approach they have adopted. Sunday notwithstanding, going with the style offers so much of a higher ceiling on that side of the ball. It’s the best decision they’ve made on offense in awhile because Flacco is comfortable in the system and the unit is less predictable and more dangerous. Things broke down in the second half Sunday largely because the line didn’t protect Flacco well enough; that needs to change. Also, when the running game is working, use it. But those mistakes and hiccups don’t mean it’s not a good idea anymore. It still is.