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Defense's Uncharacteristic Big Plays Make Difference In Loss To Giants


Head Coach John Harbaugh made his feelings abundantly clear after big plays cost the Ravens in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants.

The Ravens allowed Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to put up 222 receiving yards, including touchdowns of 75 and 66 yards, and those breakdowns made the difference in Baltimore's third-straight loss.

"It's just not going to be OK," Harbaugh said. "We're not going to get the ball thrown over our head in double moves and all that. We're not going to give up long touchdown passes. It's just not going to be the case. We're just not going to do it. That's it. That's the bottom-line factor. That's your job in the back end at corner. You just can't let that happen."

Beckham had three catches longer than 20 yards, and his 66-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter was the game-winning score. Beckham lined up across from rookie cornerback Tavon Young on the play, and he beat the rookie inside on a slant route. Young then collided with safety Eric Weddle, freeing up Beckham to run untouched down the middle of the field for the long score.

"I blame that on my technique," Young said.

The long scores for Beckham all happened in the second half after Baltimore's top cornerback Jimmy Smith left the game with a concussion. Veteran slot corner Jerraud Powers also left the game with an injury.

When Smith was healthy for the first half, Beckham was held to two catches for 11 yards and no touchdowns, and he turned the ball over with a fumble. With Smith on the sideline during the second half, Beckham notched the two scores and the other 211 yards.

The Ravens moved forward with Will Davis and Shareece Wright as the outside corners. They also had Young taking snaps on the outside, but he has typically been a slot corner.

Beckham and the Giants capitalized on the Ravens dealing with so many injuries.

"We held him down the first half, and had some guys go down, and the guys behind them have to step up," Weddle said. "That's why we're here. We play an aggressive style defense. We man guys up, and we just didn't get it done."

Allowing the big plays was particularly frustrating because that's an area where the defense has excelled this year. They came into the game allowing the second-fewest passes of a least 20 yards, but they couldn't keep that trend going against New York.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning finished the day with 403 passing yards and three touchdowns.

"We talk about it – never give up the big play – and that's what we've done the first five weeks," Weddle said. "Today, you can see what happens when the ball goes over our heads. And it's not just one guy. It's our whole defense. It's the secondary as a group. We'll work on it, we'll get better."

As the Ravens look to correct the problems they saw against the Giants, Harbaugh said they will consider several options. That could include shaking up the lineup or bringing in new players like they have done in past years.

"We're going to work at it," Harbaugh said. "We're going to look for guys. We're going to teach our guys. We're going to coach our guys. Our guys are going to work hard at it. We have good guys. I believe we have talented guys. We have guys who are fully capable of covering people out there. We've done it all year. But we don't have our eyes in the right spot all the time, so I want disciplined guys back there, and those are the guys that are going to play going forward."

Check out the best photos from MetLife Stadium as the Ravens battle the Giants.

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