The loss to Oakland Sunday made for a tough flight home after a week on the West Coast.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said that every player and coach watched film during that long flight home, so we'll do the same. Here's a breakdown of some points you may have missed last week, and a closer look at some of the game-changing moments.
All of these plays were viewed using NFL Game Pass, which is available for fans to purchase.
Closer Look At Hill's Holding Call
Harbaugh and safety Will Hill have both expressed their displeasure with a holding call on Hill that wiped away his interception on Oakland's game-winning touchdown drive. Officials said that Hill held Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera before making the interception, and the tape shows there was definitely contact between the two of them. However, Hill's point was he already had the inside position that allowed him to come up with the interception, and it was Rivera who initiated the contact. It is also worth noting that Hill fumbled on the return, and the officials never made a clear ruling on the recovery because they quickly moved onto the penalty call. If Hill wasn't called for holding, but Oakland came up with that fumble, the Raiders still would have been at the 18-yard line with a first down and 30 seconds left in the quarter.
Yanda Lined Up Outside On TD
Tight end Crockett Gillmore found himself wide open on his way to the end zone for a 26-yard first quarter touchdown. Part of the reason Gillmore was uncovered was because Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman got creative with the scheme. The Ravens had Gillmore line up at left tackle as an eligible receiver. They then had an unbalanced line on the right side, with Kelechi Osemele lined up at right guard instead of his normal spot at left guard.
Osemele moved to the right side because the Ravens took right guard Marshal Yanda and split him wide, outside of receiver Steve Smith Sr. When the Ravens snapped the ball, Yanda dropped back like he was ready to catch a screen pass – Yanda was never actually an eligible receiver – and the Raiders defense left Gillmore completely uncovered off the line of scrimmage. The play is very similar to what the Patriots did against the Ravens last year in the divisional round, but the difference is that the Ravens kept their normal personnel on the field and just lined them up in a unique fashion. Last year, the Patriots brought four offensive linemen onto the field and then declared a skill position play an ineligible receiver.
Mosley Almost Gets To Carr Before Touchdown
The Ravens had a tough time throughout the day generating a pass rush on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and the pressure came up just a step late from preventing the biggest play of the day. Carr released his 68-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper just before inside linebacker C.J. Mosley decked him in the backfield. Mosley beat the right tackle on the blitz and had a clean shot at Carr, but the Oakland quarterback stood tall in the pocket to get rid of the football before Mosley delivered the hit.
The lack of pressure on Carr was a problem throughout the day, specifically when he rolled out of the pocket on bootlegs or off play-action. The play below is a key example of how the extra time allows him to find the soft spot of the defense. Carr had almost five seconds before a Ravens defender got to him.
Forsett Tough Pass Blocker
Running back Justin Forsett has a reputation as one of the toughest pass blockers in the NFL, and he showed that by stepping into a pair of blitzers in the third quarter. Forsett stood up inside linebacker Malcolm Smith – the former Super Bowl MVP – keeping him from getting to Flacco in the backfield. Forsett's block also pushed fellow blitzing linebacker Curtis Lofton into left guard Kelechi Osemele, who finished the job by pushing Lofton to the ground. The blocks gave Flacco extra time in the pocket and allowed him to connect with Smith Sr. for a first down.
Smith So Close To Touchdown
The Ravens are painfully close to being 2-0, and perhaps no play illustrates that more than the third-down pass to Smith Sr. in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Smith got wide open on the play and hauled in the catch in the corner, but the officials ruled that he didn't get both feet in bounds. A frame-by-frame look at the play shows just how close the call was. Smith's left foot looks to be nearly on the ground when he makes the catch, and then he gets his right foot in bounds before falling to the ground. The left foot clearly doesn't touch in bounds on the next step, but it may have been down as he made the catch. If the play had been ruled a touchdown on the field, it would be been tough to overturn. Also, if Flacco zipped the ball to Smith and kept it a little lower, then it likely would have gone for a touchdown.