Internet Stunned By 'Inexplicable' And 'Dumb' Ending
Just like you, the internet was stunned.
Reaction rolled in after the final sequence of events at M&T Bank Stadium left all who were watching with their jaws on the ground. Not surprisingly, some not-so-nice things are being said.
Some of the adjectives frequently used to describe the last-second debacle are: unreal, unbelievable, unspeakable, inexplicable, stunning and … dumb.
"The Ravens just turned in one of the dumbest last-minute performances of all-time, forever and ever!" tweeted Pardon the Interruption's Michael Wilbon. "How & when did the Ravens become such an incompetent & dumb team, making one stupid mistake after another???"
By now, you know what happened.
The Ravens were up by one point over the Jacksonville Jaguars with 66 seconds left in the game, and had two perfect chances to seal the win on defense. The first was when safety Kendrick Lewis had a gift interception thrown his way, but let it fall through his hands with 20 seconds left. Then, with the clock showing triple zeros, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil committed a facemask penalty that gave the Jags an extra play to kick the game-winning 53-yard field goal.
"Dumervil dropped his helmet and gazed aimlessly into the emptying seats," The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "He stood in place for a moment and then dropped to one knee to say a prayer, a ritual that he does every time he steps on or off of a football field.
"Football can be cruel sometimes. Dumervil surely knows this. He was inches away from getting his third sack, this one preserving a Ravens victory."
If you woke up this morning, thinking it was all a dream, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It wasn't'. Just when you thought the anguishing Ravens' losses couldn't get any worse, it did.
"In a season filled with frustration, this has to top the list for Baltimore," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
"If it didn't happen, it would be unbelievable," wrote The Sun's Jon Meoli.
P-Word Officially Banned From Ravens Facility
The Ravens' slim playoff chances are over, say the pundits.
Sure, mathematically, Baltimore has not been eliminated for post-season contention. That may not happen for a while.
But after the team confidently talked the last two weeks about making history by coming back from a 2-6 deficit, only for the same mistake-prone Ravens to surface after the bye week and fail to finish a game, Hensley isn't trying to hear any talk about the playoffs.
"The 'P-word' has to be officially banned from the Baltimore Ravens' facility unless it's used to refer to painful, problematic or pitiful," he wrote.
"The Ravens had returned to practice last Monday following the bye, refreshed and reinvigorated," added Zrebiec. "They spoke like an 8-0 second half was possible, if not probable. Today's loss pretty much douses any hope of a second-half run to the postseason."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Baltimore is the first NFL team to ever start a season with nine straight games decided by eight points or fewer. But it's tough to find any comfort in stats like that anymore, especially when the Ravens have now lost the Cleveland Browns (2-7), Jaguars (3-6) and San Francisco 49ers (3-7) in the same season.
The Jaguars loss was a new low, not only because of the way it ended, but because they have been absolutely incapable of winning on the road … until now. Jacksonville hadn't won on the road since December 2013, marking an NFL-worst streak of 13 consecutive losses.
The fact that it came after the Ravens' bye hurts too. Baltimore had been 6-1 after the bye, and it was an NFL-best 23-10 in November since 2008.* *
"The Ravens have been able to chalk up the disappointing season to bad luck," wrote Hensley. "Now, let's be honest, the Ravens are simply bad. … Good teams don't let games continually get decided in the final minute against the worst teams in the NFL."
Did The Jags Get Snap Off In Time? Clearly, Yes
Player after player in the post-game locker room questioned whether the Jaguars got the snap off before the clock struck zero. Head Coach John Harbaugh had the same question.
The tape makes the answer clear.
"Did the Jaguars get that final snap off before Dumervil's face mask?" asked Zrebiec. "CBS replays showed that the ball was snapped just before the clock hit zero.
"Was everybody set on the play? Replays appeared to show that the Jaguars were."
The Ravens were already celebrating before the game was officially over, including linebacker Courtney Upshaw, cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Anthony Levine. They all admitted to doing so, saying to check the film to see it. The film also showed some Jaguars players stopping too.
"We all thought the game was over," said Upshaw. "But we have to finish better. We kind of left Doom [Dumervil] out there alone."
You can get a good look at the clock and snap in the video below (mobile app users tap "View in browser" at the top of the page to watch.)
Not All Blame Goes To Dumervil; 4 Other Reasons For Loss
Harbaugh was not about to put all the blame on Dumervil for the loss after the game, and fans shouldn't either.
"Look at Elvis, how he's playing, Harbaugh said. "The guy is playing out of his mind. He's playing with tremendous effort and energy and heart. It's a disappointing play, obviously. He's going to feel it more than anybody. I have all the belief in the world in Elvis Dumervil, I can tell you that."
CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown pointed to several other plays that doomed the Ravens:
- Lewis' dropped interception with 20 second left
- The majority of the defense not playing until the final whistle blew on the final defensive play
- With a 14-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, returner Jeremy Ross muffed a punt, and the Jaguars recovered to set up a go-ahead touchdown
- The three turnovers committed by quarterback Joe Flacco in the third quarter, including two interceptions and a fumble
First Look At New Offense Moving Forward
Sunday marked the Ravens' first game since losing top offensive playmaker Steve Smith Sr. for the season to an Achilles tear, giving us a look at what the offense could look like moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman frequently used three tight end sets, and Flacco spread the ball around more than he did when Smith was on the field. He completed passes to nine different targets, including to Jeremy Butler, who notched his first NFL catch after coming into the league undrafted.
Kamar Aiken took over the No. 1 receiver role with an up-and-down day, but ultimately led the team with seven catches for 73 yards. Chris Givens overtook Marlon Brown as the No. 2 receiver and got his first touchdown as a Raven.
"After dropping his first chance, Aiken had a strong game and was Flacco's favorite target," wrote Brown. "It was a good sign for the Ravens that Aiken got open consistently. They will need more of that without Steve Smith, but Aiken continues to step up when called upon."
Rookie tight end Maxx Williams got his first NFL touchdown, too.
"Joe Flacco [offered] the first look at what this offense must look like without Steve Smith Sr.," wrote The Sun's Alexander Pyles.
Added Hensley: "This could be a sign that Williams is going to get more involved in the offense in the second half of the season."
- "It will be interesting to see how the Ravens react to this loss," wrote Brown. "They have seven games left to play, and it's going to be tough to keep a positive outlook." [CSNMidAtlantic.com]
- "That [facemask] penalty ruined what might have been their finest defensive performance of the season," wrote Alexander Pyles. [The Baltimore Sun]
- It took 21 quarters and two overtime periods, 66 drives by the opposition, 350 snaps by the opposition and more than 340 minutes for the Ravens to end their turnover drought. [ESPN]
- "[Jeremy Ross] muffed punt in the fourth quarter led to a 15-yard Jaguars touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Allen Robinson," wrote Hensley. "It was Ross' second turnover in three games. He was taken off kickoff returns, and he soon could be removed from fielding punts." [ESPN]
- Warning: You may feel sick to your stomach watching the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrate their win. The worst part is when the loudest cheer comes after talking about the facemask penalty.