Ravens fall on over­turned touch­down in fi­nal minute

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Bre­shad Per­ri­man nearly scored his first NFL touch­down. He nearly won the game for Bal­ti­more Ravens.

But Per­ri­man couldn’t keep both feet in bounds as he hauled in a pass from quar­ter­back Joe Flacco with 39 sec­onds re­main­ing. The rul­ing, ini­tially called a touch­down, was over­turned as Per­ri­man’s foot tapped the side­line on the right side of the end

BAL­TI­MORE

zone.

The Ravens ran three more plays, but Flacco’s fourth-down pass to Mike Wal­lace hit off of the re­ceivers hands and Bal­ti­more fell to Wash­ing­ton, 16-10, in Sun­day’s “Bat­tle of The Belt­way” at M&T Bank Sta­dium.

“I got an op­por­tu­nity to make a play and I didn’t make it,” Per­ri­man said. “Right now, words can’t re­ally ex­plain how hurt I am.”

The Ravens re­ceived the open­ing kick­off and ex­e­cuted a pic­turesque open­ing drive, cov­er­ing 75 yards on nine plays. Flacco found tight end Crock­ett Gill­more for a 7-yard touch­down to cap the drive, but Bal­ti­more’s of­fense man­aged just a sin­gle field goal over the re­main­ing 55 min­utes.

“We’re not play­ing well enough. We’re not mak­ing plays,” Flacco said of the Ravens’ of­fense. “It’s em­bar­rass­ing to run off the field in front of your home fans, in front of your team­mates. Our de­fense is putting up awe­some fights ev­ery week and we’re just run­ning on and off the field ba­si­cally. It doesn’t feel good as the quar­ter­back, as the leader of the of­fense, to con­tinue to do that.”

Bal­ti­more’s only other points came on a 31-yard Justin Tucker field goal on the first play of the sec­ond quar­ter. The Ravens were shut out for the re­main­ing 44:56.

“We have to find our of­fense,” head coach John Har­baugh said. “That’s been the story of the sea­son. We can’t find con­ti­nu­ity on of­fense. We didn’t pro­tect the quar­ter­back par­tic­u­larly well. He got hit way too much again. That has to stop.

“The run game was pretty good for the most part, but you can’t just run the ball,” he con­tin­ued. “You have to make some plays in the pass­ing game.”

Ter­rance West led the Ravens with 95 yards rush­ing on only 11 car­ries (8.6 yards per carry). He helped set up Bal­ti­more’s lone touch­down on the open­ing pos­ses­sion with a 35-yard run, the team’s long­est of the sea­son.

Flacco com­pleted 30 of his 46 pass at­tempts for 210 yards and a touch­down.

Lead­ing 10-6, the Ravens tried a fake field goal with 4:34 un­til half­time to ex­tend the lead to two scores, but Tucker’s pass at­tempt to Gill­more fell in­com­plete. Bal­ti­more took the four-point lead into the locker room.

“We def­i­nitely saw some­thing we thought we could ex­ploit. We felt like it would be there for us, and we gave it a shot, and it didn’t work out for us,” Har­baugh said. “It was an ag­gres­sive call. I’m not sec­ondguess­ing it.”

Wash­ing­ton quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins found Pierre Garçon for

a 21-yard touch­down nearly seven min­utes into the sec­ond half to give the vis­i­tors the lead for good, 13-10, but it ap­peared as if the Ravens would re­claim the edge on the score­board just over two min­utes later.

Bal­ti­more punter Sam Koch boomed a 68-yard kick that pinned Wash­ing­ton at its own 1-yard line. On sec­ond down, line­backer CJ Mosley made a leap­ing in­ter­cep­tion at the 13-yard line.

Mosley re­turned the pick down

the left side­line to­ward the goal line and reached for the py­lon. The ball slipped out of his hand and went into the end zone be­fore bounc­ing out of bounds for a touch­back.

What was nearly seven points for the Ravens turned out to be a gain of 17 yards for Wash­ing­ton. Bal­ti­more’s de­fense gave up up 72 yards on the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion that re­sulted in a 27-yard field goal for Dustin Hop­kins.

Mosley in­jured his ham­string on the play and did not re­turn.

Wash­ing­ton scored its first points on an 85-yard punt re­turn by Jami­son Crow­der in the first quar­ter.

“We have to get that fixed,” Har­baugh said of Bal­ti­more’s strug­gles to cover kicks this sea­son. “That has to change. We’re not hav­ing it. That’s what gave them the spark to get back in the game, in my mind. We let them back in the game with a punt re­turn touch­down. It’s not what we do. That’s not win­ning foot­ball.”

Bal­ti­more be­gan the 2016 cam-

paign 3-0, but has now dropped two straight games at home. The Ravens now travel to MetLife Sta­dium for con­sec­u­tive games against the New York Gi­ants and Jets, re­spec­tively.

Wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. (an­kle), Rick Wagner (thigh) and cor­ner­back Shel­don Price (ham­string) all left the game and did not re­turn.

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

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