Josh Bynes calculated, or at least the veteran indoor midfielder remembered it. The Ravens’ season ended 8-9, he said Monday, because they didn’t finish the games they should have. Of their six consecutive defeats at the end of the year, five totaled eight points.
“It’s been the whole season, opportunity after opportunity and just a missed opportunity,” defender Calle Campbell said Sunday. “This team has a lot of struggle, a lot of heart. It’s just hard when you put in so much effort and so much energy, but you can’t do it. These are the most painful. ”
But what is the real loss that hurts the most? To separate the very bad from the really pathetic, The Baltimore Sun ranked the Crows’ nine defeats on three unscientific criteria: drama (how frustrating or annoying the ending was), disappointment (how far below expectations the outcome was), and damage (how badly the game’s performance was). influenced the team’s season).
The lower the rating, the more dramatic, frustrating, or devastating the loss was. The lower the combined rating, the worse the overall game was. (In one case, the difference in losing was used to separate two games that tied for third place.) This is how the Ravens’ nine defeats are classified from least pathetic to most pitiful.
9. Bengals 41, Ravens 21 (Week 16)
Drama (9): Almost no one was there. Leading 7-3 in the middle of the first quarter, Crows lost 38-14 for the rest of the way. The only intrigue after the break was how many passing yards Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow (525, fourth in NFL history) would finish and what the Ravens and Bengals players would say about the score increase (not many).
Disappointment (9): Despite starting apprentice Josh Johnson as quarterback, despite a minor amount of training squad calls, the Crows actually lost in Cincinnati with fewer points than in their first meeting. There was life in the attack. There were pleasant surprises in defense.
Damage (4): The Bengals single-handedly took first place in AFC North, finished the season and pushed the Ravens into a win-or-you-probably-doomed playoff scenario. Anthony Averett, the team’s best remaining full-back, was also out with a rib injury at the end of the season.
8. Raiders 33, Ravens 27 (Week 1)
Drama (4): All these months later, it’s easy to forget what it took to get this game into overtime, let alone what actually happened in overtime. In the last minute of regular time, the Ravens got the go-ahead for a 47-yard field goal from Justin Tucker, before losing a 55-yard field goal to Daniel Carlson. In overtime, the Crows survived the Raiders’ first goal from 1st, but lost after stripping quarterback Lamar Jackson on their next possession.
Disappointment (6): The Ravens were the favorites on shooting goals in Las Vegas, but the opening game was their first after losing to runners JC Dobbins and Gus Edwards and defender Marcus Peters with knee injuries at the end of the season. No one knew what season was in store for both teams.
Damage (9): After the game, the Crows closed left tackle Ronnie Stanley and placed offensive lineman Tyre Phillips in an injured reserve after the game, but as the line shuffled Alejandro Villanueva could at least give up his spot on right tackle. Five weeks later, the Crows were still leading 5-1.
7. Bengals 41, Ravens 17 (7th week)
Drama (8): After the first half in Baltimore, the Ravens opened the second half with a landing pass 39 yards from Jackson to receiver Hollywood Marquis Brown. Above 17-13, they were well positioned for a decisive victory in the division. Then the wheels fell off. Cincinnati scored 28 points unanswered when Burrow and receiver Ja’Marr Chase embarrassed the Ravens’ defense.
Disappointment (2): The Ravens have won five matches in a row. The Bengals were leading 4-2, but lost in recent meetings. None of this seemed to matter. In what was the Ravens’ worst defeat since 2017, Jackson failed to tackle the Bengals blitz or spark the team’s play. In defense, tackles and lighting were flimsy. Coach John Harbaugh later called it “the worst game the Ravens have played in a long time.”
Damage (8): The Crows were soon back on top of AFC North; Cincinnati followed the turmoil of the road with a stunning defeat to the New York Jets and a stunning defeat to the Cleveland Browns. The most worrying development for the Ravens was Patrick Mekari’s right ankle injury, which left him out of the game before week 11.
6. Packers 31, Ravens 30 (week 15)
Drama (1): It was almost a loser’s story: an incomplete team without a top player, one match short of stunning the Super Bowl favorite and his Hall of Fame quarterback. Despite injuries and illnesses, the Ravens kept up more than one touch behind Green Bay until the fourth quarter, after which they scored 13 points in a row. Quarterback Tyler Huntley could have done it 15 in a row, but he got Mark Andrews tied into a two-point attempt and missed Brown’s open mid-zone.
Disappointment (8): Who expected Huntley to fight Aaron Rogers? With Jackson suspended for an ankle injury and the Ravens’ defenses eroded by the coronavirus outbreak, Green Bay was the favorite in Baltimore with nine points. Even after the defeat, it looked like Harbaugh was vying for the NFL Coach of the Year title.
Damage (7): The defeat was the third in a row for the Ravens and third by a point margin of two or fewer, but that didn’t change the team’s chances in the postseason much. Because of the AFC playoff picture, the Ravens’ play next week in Cincinnati has always been more important.
5.Rams 20, Ravens 19 (Week 17)
Drama (5): Some of the most important moments of the game didn’t seem very important until the very end. It was as the Crows, the top team, for most of the day, watched their lead (and playoff chances) collapse in a dramatic but familiar way: a red-zone flop on offense, a fourth attempt and a touchdown in defense, and the final transfer, which led nowhere.
Disappointment (7): A week after shellac, Cincinnati had another game of bad matches. Even if the Ravens could restrict superstar Aaron Donald’s attack and a terrifying pass on offense, they would still have to stop superstar receiver Cooper Kupp with an exhausted group of full-backs in defense. According to Football Outsiders, the Rams ended up finishing the regular season as the most effective opponent on the Ravens’ schedule.
Damage (2): The Ravens needed a win to maintain their playoff chances. Their collapse sent them into week 18 with an almost impossible postseason entry and brought Harbo his first streak of five defeats in Baltimore.
4. Dolphins 22, Ravens 10 (Week 10)
Drama (7): Just because it was shockingly upsetting doesn’t mean it was a particularly watchable game. Both teams missed eight times, and the Ravens didn’t make it to the red zone until the penultimate drive. Cornerback Xavien Howard scored and led Miami 15-3 with 11 minutes left, while the Dolphins responded to the Ravens’ only touchdown later in the quarter with a home march.
Disappointment (1): Thursday Night Football is a hotbed of odd outcomes, but on paper, Miami entered the game with little or no clear advantage. Dolphins defender Tua Tagovailoa was not healthy enough to start. Their line of attack was one of the worst in the NFL. Their talented defense struggled to keep the attack below 30 points. Yet somehow, by knocking out quarterback Jacoby Brissette, the Crows virtually lost their chances of winning.
Damage (5): The Ravens recovered from a short week loss to win the next two games and improve the score to 8-3, but the Dolphins seem to have provided a plan for the opposing defensive coordinators. If Miami’s blitz approach could upset Jackson so much, why not copy it? Despite Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins and Brown reuniting at the wide receiver, Jackson finished with just 5.5 yards per try.
3. Steelers 16, Ravens 13 (week 18)
Drama (3): Until 3:00 pm Sunday, the game’s appeal could be boiled down to a simple premise: Can the Crows send quarterback Ben Rotlisberger to a near-certain loss-based retirement? Then the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts to a world of possibilities. The crows, who were handed the playoff lifebuoy, simply could not resist. They floundered in the red, dropped a key shot in the fourth quarter and failed to finish off Pittsburgh in overtime.
Disappointment (4): The Ravens entered the offseason with a six-game losing streak, their fifth defeat by three points or less, and their fourth consecutive defeat to Pittsburgh. Even Terrell Suggs’ return to Baltimore failed to lift the Ravens over the seriously flawed Steelers team.
Damage (6): The Miami Dolphins ‘win over the New England Patriots later Sunday put the Ravens’ hopes of reaching the playoffs to an end, and the 14th overall in the NFL Draft would be a good consolation prize. However, this will not prevent Pittsburgh from reaching the playoffs. If outside midfielder Tyus Bowser revealed that an Achilles tendon injury would keep him out of play for part of the 2022 season, that game would be even more meaningful.
2. Browns 24, Ravens 22 (week 14)
Drama (6): Cleveland were already leading 10-0 when Jackson dropped out of the game with an ankle injury and went on half-time with a 24-6 lead. The Ravens slowly returned, but the unsuccessful conversion of 2 points in the middle of the fourth quarter did not allow them to recoup even after their next touchdown. A successful side kick with just over a minute left kept the Ravens hopeful, but they only made it to their 45-yard line before flipping it down.
Disappointment (5): Cleveland had a goodbye week to rest and prepare for the second team meeting in three weeks. Meanwhile, the Ravens lacked the three most important blockers – defender Patrick Ricard, tight end Nick Boyle and Mekari – healthy enough to play. Few would have imagined Huntley would finish with 270 passing yards and a 99.7 passing rating.
Damage (1): While this has been the worst season for Jackson as a main player, a healthy ankle could still be enough to get the Ravens into the division or at least the playoffs. Given the strong defensive play in Week 17 and 18, and Huntley’s uneven play, the Crows would probably have won both games against Jackson. The offensive ability for big play faded in his absence.
1. Steelers 20, Ravens 19 (week 13)
Drama (2): With just three points in their first six possessions, Pittsburgh began pushing the Ravens guests. A field goal cut the Steelers’ gap to 13-12 in the middle of the fourth quarter, followed by a three strikeout victory for the Ravens. In a shot by Pittsburgh, which culminated in a landing pass on receiver Dionte Johnson and a two-point conversion, in-line midfielder Patrick Queen destroyed an interception from a defensive penalty. It took Jackson just 96 seconds to get the Ravens into the home zone, but failed to connect with open Andrews in a two-point attempt, missing out on a 21-20 lead with 12 seconds remaining.
Disappointment (3): The Steelers were down 41-10 to the Bengals, and it was unclear if they would have star pass rusher TJ Watt or the defense they needed to stop the Ravens. They finished with both: Watt finished with 3 ½ sacks and the Ravens held 4.3 yards per carry. Equally important, Roethlisberger outplayed Jackson, who ended a promising attack early in the game with a jump ball and struggled to find open receivers throughout the game.
Damage (3): The Ravens went on to win on the road in the last minute due in part to the depth depletion of the root defender. Tavon Young was sick and handicapped. Chris Westree was inactive. Averett struggled. Most important, however, was the loss of Marlon Humphrey, who suffered a chest injury at the end of the season during the Steelers’ start. That left the Ravens without top two full-backs or starting defender DeShawn Elliott – and sometimes much more – in the last five games of the season. (Mekari also missed the next two games.) They didn’t win any of them.