Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley found himself in an unfamiliar position Sunday* *afternoon.
The second-year defender had to answer questions about a rough defensive outing where his struggles played a part in Cleveland mounting a late comeback for a 33-30 overtime victory. Mosley has been one of the Ravens' best players the last two years, but he took responsibility for the defense needing to do a better job closing out games.
"I'll point out myself," Mosley said. "Just like the last two losses, it's on the defense. We played with the lead for a while, gave up big plays, and at the end, we've just got to finish. We keep saying that, but we've got to do it."
Mosley specifically pointed to a play in overtime where Browns tight end Gary Barnridge broke free from him in coverage and picked up 19 yards on a third-down conversion. The catch-and-run by Barnridge put the Browns into Baltimore territory and they eventually kicked a game-winning field goal on that drive.
"They were able to get a shake right on me, I took my eyes off of him, and they were able to convert to attempt to get the field goal to end the game," Mosley said. "That's the first thing – start with discipline. [We've] just got to make sure we stay on our man and just get back to the basics with the little things."
Mosley finished the game with just two tackles, the lowest of his career. He also received a grade from Pro Football Focus of negative-4.1, which was by far the lowest of his career.
He was caught chasing after tight ends or running backs in coverage, but it's unclear in some cases whether he got beat in coverage or was just the closest defender to the ball carrier.
The outing was so uncharacteristic from the Pro Bowler that a reporter asked him after the game whether he's dealing with an injury.
"I'm fine," Mosley responded.
Mosley has 29 tackles, two sacks and three passes defensed through the first five games.
He's a vital cog in the middle of the defense and perhaps the team's top defender. The Ravens are counting on him to be a difference maker for the unit, and Mosley has that same kind of expectations for himself.
"When I point out myself, certain players have got to do a better job at what we do," Mosley said. "We're disappointed, because we know what kind of team we are; we know how we work, and we're definitely better than 1-4. We've just got to put our foot down and prove that."