Ravens fall on overturned touchdown in final minute
— 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
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