Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘Time to start winning a few games’: After losing to Bengals 41: 21, the Ravens are running out of time

At the end of a defeat that could have doomed these Ravens, in the final game of arguably the worst defensive game in the franchise’s proud history, Joe Burrow knelt down and watched the clock tick. The Bengals have done enough. The crows had enough.

For them, it was a hell of a month, a once-in-a-lifetime set of coronavirus injuries and protocols, bitter losses, and now a sensational defeat 41-21. Their prospects for the postseason were missed. Their ranks were thinned beyond any daring imagination.

The Bengals’ merciful final strike said more than any score. One training squad (Khalil Mackenzie) was called up along the Voronov line. In the position of full-back was another (Daryl Worley). There was another one safe (Tony Jefferson II). Back home in Baltimore, there were Pro Bowl quarterback Lamar Jackson, still sidelined with an ankle injury, and backup Tyler Huntley, who dropped out after testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

The season that began with such magic and promises turned dark and dark, rapidly approaching the new year with all the chaos of an escaped freight train. The Ravens don’t know if Jackson or Huntley will be ready for Sunday’s showdown against the Los Angeles Rams. They don’t know who might be returning from injury or from the COVID-19 / COVID-19 substitute list to help the defense, which has lost the worst 575 yards for Joe Burrow and company at Paul Brown Stadium.

All they know is that after the transfer of control of AFK Sever to the Bengals, they are running out of time.

“It’s always nice when you can control your destiny – we’ve been talking about this for a long time,” said dead-end Mark Andrews. “But it’s time to start winning a few games.”

The Ravens (8-7) have lost four in a row for the first time since 2016 and only for the second time under coach John Harbaugh. Sunday’s strike was the first defeat in this segment by more than a couple of points; they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers (week 13) and the Green Bay Packers (week 15) by one and to the Cleveland Browns (week 14) by two.

Large or small, but the losses overtook the Ravens. After entering week 13 with the AFC seed # 1, they are now holding on with all their might in the crowded postseason push. FiveThirtyEight predicts they will come out on Monday with the 7th AFC number, but with a 35% chance of making the playoffs. A Sunday defeat to the Rams outsiders would lower those odds to 11%, and a win would raise them to 64%. But even a second straight home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 18 doesn’t guarantee a postseason spot.

“I think this is where we think, ‘Okay, are you ready to go home for the offseason or give yourself the extra opportunity to play more games? “- said defender Chuck Clark. “I think, as a team, as a person, this is where we really need to fix ourselves. Look at the offseason – it’s over six months compared to these next two weeks, to lock in and find a way to just win both weeks and extend the season. ”

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Not having to see Joe Burrow again should help. Leading Cincinnati (9-6) to their first win over the Ravens since 2015, the former No. 1 overall ranked to a record 525 yards – the fourth-highest in NFL history – and four touchdowns. That easily overshadowed the 416 yards he scored in his 41-17 win in Baltimore in Week 7.

Three days after Defense Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said the Bengal rising star had yet to make the Hall of Fame, Burrow kept his thorns around the Ravens’ necks all day. He landed a 52-yard shot at running Joe Mixon after a two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, with the Bengals already hitting 20. His 941 overall pass against the Ravens this season set an NFL record for most passes to one. team in one season, according to ESPN Stats & Info

Burrow later told reporters in Cincinnati that he did not consider Martindale’s comment “necessary.” He smiled when asked if he thought about it at the end of the game. “Maybe,” he said.

“I know what kind of man he is,” said Voronov inside midfielder Patrick Queen, Burrow’s teammate on the 2019 LSU national team. “At the end of the day, he threw a lot of yards, but I think he’s just more proud of his victory.”

Burrow was very helpful. Tee Higgins, 33rd in the 2020 Draft, has 12 catches on 13 targets on a career record 194 yards and two touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase, 5th in this year’s Draft, continued his best-ever performance at 201 yards in Baltimore, picking 125 yards with seven hauls. Teammate Tyler Boyd had the longest game of the game and arguably the lightest with a 68-yard catch and run that gave the Bengals a 17-7 team lead early in the second quarter.

In the meantime, the Ravens were of little help. Jackson’s absence, his second straight match after being kicked off the field in week 14, was Sunday’s most significant game, followed by Huntley. Josh Johnson, who signed the New York Jets training roster on December 15, is the third quarterback to start in the Ravens in so many weeks.

But their personnel shortcomings were most clearly manifested in the defense, which, like the whole year, remained depleted, perhaps ever. In addition to the many sidelined players due to late-season injuries, the Ravens lacked their top rusher (Justin Houston), a defensive starting lineman (Justin Madubike) and two potential starting lineups as a full-back ( Chris Westrey and Jimmy Smith). stuck on the list of reserves / COVID-19. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell (thigh) played but failed.

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Following a chest / rib injury in the first quarter that knocked out starter Anthony Averett, the Ravens turned to former training recruiter Kewon Seymour and Worley, one of 10 Ravens transferred from the training team on Saturday, to take on external corner duties. defender. Of all the Ravens who expected to contribute to one of the strongest minor players in the NFL a few months ago, only full-back Tavon Young and defenders Chuck Clark and Brandon Stevens remain.

“It’s just difficult circumstances,” Harbo said. “I thought our guys were fighting. We’ve got guys like Tony Jefferson sitting here. Has he been here for about 10 days, Tony? Maybe two weeks? And he is going to play there, plays a lot of football and plays well. …

“I thought our guys fought hard and did everything they could under the circumstances. This is what you are asking for. That’s all you can ask for. This is what you are asking for. So the results are meaningful, they are important, but this is not a one-game season or a one-game career. ”

As the Ravens approach territory to be won, they can at least find solace in their determination. They responded to the Bengals field ball on first possession with their first touchdown since the first week after week 6. They found the home zone three hits later, cutting the Bengals’ deficit to 24-14 with less than two minutes remaining. second quarter.

The defense fizzled out for a fourth straight touchdown shortly before halftime, but the Ravens’ attack went ahead against the talented Cincinnati unit. Johnson, in his first start since 2018, finished 28 of 40 for 304 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Andrews had eight catches on 125 yards and a result nearly breaking the Ravens’ record in one season in his 15th game. Wide receiver James Proche II had seven catches at 76 yards.

“They’re playing good football now,” Andrews said later, but not enough, or at least not right away. Harbo hoped Sunday the Ravens would bring some players back this week. He was delighted to have the opportunity to turn around this season. But he couldn’t give the Ravens more time. Their roller-coaster season after the first week has maybe two games left.

“This season was nothing new,” Quinn said. “Just one by one. We just got ready. We worked, we prepared, we believe in the guys we have – because everything we have now is all we need. We believe in each other. We just need to go out and perform. ”

Week 17

RAMS @ RAVENS

Sunday, 16:25

TV: Ch. 45, 5 Radio: 97.9 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Baranov 3

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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