Ravens en­ter bye week on low note, fall­ing to Ti­tans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

NASHVILLE — It took the Ravens un­til the fi­nal nine min­utes of the game to find the end zone.

But when quar­ter­back Joe Flacco threw a 3-yard touch­down pass to run­ning back Buck Allen with 8:56 left, Bal­ti­more sud­denly trailed by only a field goal de­spite an all-around dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance.

The Ten­nessee Ti­tans re­sponded with a me­thod­i­cal, 75-yard touch­down drive that brought the Ravens’ deficit back to two scores and shat­tered the hopes of a come-from-be­hind vic­tory.

Bal­ti­more man­aged one more scor­ing drive, find­ing the end zone on a 1-yard touch­down pass from Flacco to Mike Wal­lace with 46 sec­onds left, but a failed on­side kick at­tempt sent the Ravens into their bye week with a 23-20 loss Sun­day in front of 67,322 at Nis­san Sta­dium.

“I like the way we com­peted right to the end, ob­vi­ously, but we’ve got to come up on the top side of that and we weren’t able to do it,” head coach John Har­baugh said. “We’ve been beat up all year, so this will hope­fully be a good chance to get healthy and get some guys back. We were hop­ing to win this game for a lit­tle mo­men­tum go­ing into the bye. It doesn’t change any­thing. It just means we’ve got to win one more game in the sec­ond half than we would’ve to if we had won this game. We’ve got to get on a roll.”

Bal­ti­more (4-5) had an op­portu- nity to carry sig­nif­i­cant mo­men­tum into the bye fol­low­ing last week’s 40-0 shut-out win over the Mi­ami Dol­phins. In­stead, the Ravens re­verted to the form of their two prior games, in which they failed to score an of­fen­sive touch­down in Week 6 and man­aged to find the end zone just once in Week 7 – on a mean­ing­less play as time ex­pired.

“We need to be bet­ter. It’s as sim­ple as that,” Flacco said. “We need to do things ob­vi­ously a lit­tle bit bet­ter. You can’t play too much worse than we’ve been play­ing and we’ve ob­vi­ously been in a lot of foot­ball games. We’re not go­ing to get ev­ery­thing cor­rected overnight, but we are mak­ing progress.”

Flacco threw the ball 52 times as the Ravens played from be­hind through­out the game, com­plet­ing 34 passes for 261 yards. He threw two touch­down passes dur­ing the late come­back at­tempt, but also had a pair of in­ter­cep­tions ear­lier in the af­ter­noon.

Flacco’s first pick came on a deep shot to Bre­shad Per­ri­man, in which the for­mer first-round se­lec­tion failed to com­pete with safety Kevin Byard for the ball in first quar­ter.

“I had a mis­take on a deep ball that they tipped up in the air and it was picked,” Per­ri­man said. “I should have went up there. I’ve got to go look at it on film, but def­i­nitely, you’ve got to go up there and get the ball at the high­est point.”

Per­ri­man had been un­able to haul in a deep pass in the end zone ear­lier in the quar­ter and dropped a pass that hit him in chest along the side­line later in the game.

Flacco’s sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion was a throw off of his back foot at­tempted

See RAVENS Page B4

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