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Ravens Explain Bad Snaps, O-Line Shuffle, Failed Wildcat, Patriots' Trick Play

G/C Patrick Mekari, C/G Matt Skura and G/C Bradley Bozeman
G/C Patrick Mekari, C/G Matt Skura and G/C Bradley Bozeman

The Ravens' 23-17 loss to the New England Patriots stung in a variety of ways.

Despite so many factors going against Baltimore – injuries, Mother Nature, etc. – they still had a chance to win, but a few plays proved to be the difference.

Here's how the Ravens explained a few of them:

Bad Snaps were a Rain Issue

Trailing by six points with about seven minutes left, the Ravens had the ball and a chance to win the game. Lamar Jackson weaved through defenders to pick up 11 yards on third-and-3 and the Ravens were on the move at their own 38-yard line.

However, Matt Skura's next snap hardly got off the ground and short-circuited the drive. Jackson dove on the ball, but it was a 12-yard loss that made it second-and-26 in a downpour.

Skura also had a bad snap on a pivotal fourth-and-1 near midfield in the third quarter. Running back Mark Ingram was in the Wildcat formation, but the snap was wide and Ingram couldn't haul it in with one hand.

"I think why it was happening was [because] the balls were wet, and rain was coming down really hard," Harbaugh said. "That's not an excuse – we still have to make our snaps. They made their snaps. But I think that's the main reason."

"The ball was just [sighs] … couldn't do nothing about it," Jackson added. "[Skura] was trying to do the best of his ability and I was trying to work with him. But things happen, especially in conditions like this."

Skura also had some snapping issues last weekend in Indianapolis, and it was reported then that he had a cut on his thumb.

In other offensive line news, the Ravens sent veteran D.J. Fluker to the bench midway through the game, shifting Patrick Mekari to right tackle and inserting Ben Powers at right guard.

"We're trying to find the right combination there right now in terms of being successful, and that's why we made that move at that time," Harbaugh said. "It's not the end for D.J. at all; just that game [and] this night, we felt like that was going to give us the best chance."

Lamar Jackson 'Just Mad at Result' of Wildcat Fourth Down

The fourth-and-1 was a huge play in the game and the Ravens opted to do a shotgun direct snap to Ingram instead of Jackson. The snap, however, was wide and Ingram couldn't corral it.

Harbaugh explained after the game that it was similar to the Ravens' direct snap to Ingram in Houston, which the running back took 30 yards for a touchdown.

"The Wildcat, that's a play that we've been practicing. We have different plays. That wasn't the exact same play that was called that you saw in Houston, but obviously, that's part of our offense," Harbaugh said. "We have different plays off of that that we think give us a good chance to convert that fourth-and-1. We didn't have a good snap there, and that's what cost us on that play."

Jackson was used as a decoy wide receiver on the play, but said he wasn't frustrated.

"I'm just mad at the result," Jackson said. "I feel like if it was a great snap or something, it probably would have had a chance, but it didn't happen."

Ravens Had Prepared for a Patriots Trick Play

It's hard to remember a time when the Patriots beat the Ravens without the use of a trick play.

New England busted one out again in the first half of Sunday's game, as wide receiver Jakobi Meyers connected with running back Rex Burkhead on a 24-yard touchdown on a double pass to give the Patriots a lead they never relinquished.

Cam Newton first threw wide left to Meyers, who uncorked a pass deep to the right and dropped it perfectly to Burkhead, who got in position behind rookie linebacker Patrick Queen.

Harbaugh said the Ravens anticipated that the Patriots would run a trick play at some point.

"We talked about it all week. We practiced it. I think we had it covered, but Patrick just hesitated just a little bit. I would probably call that just a rookie mistake in terms of uncertainty in that situation.

"He had his guy; he was on his guy. He hesitated just a step or two, and that gave Burkhead a chance to get in position. The throw [and] the catch was pretty good, with the weather the way it was, tear-dropping that ball down there … Burkhead, he's a really good receiving running back. He made a really nice play on it."

Safety Chuck Clark also said the Ravens studied the Patriots' trick plays.

"We know that their offense is big [on] running trick plays and doing different things like that," Clark said. "But you don't know when the trick plays are going to happen in football."

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