Crab­tree places blame for loss on him­self

Cecil Whig - - RAVENS - By SEAN GROGAN sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CLEVE­LAND — It was by no means an easy catch, but it’s one Michael Crab­tree ex­pects him­self to make.

Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco looked the wide re­ceiver’s way over the mid­dle with one minute left in the game as Bal­ti­more faced a third-and-10 in­side the red zone. The cov­er­age was tight, re­quir­ing Flacco to put the ball up and away to avoid de­fend­ers. Crab­tree leapt and ex­tended his arms. He was able to get his hands on the foot­ball, but un­able to haul in the catch in the back of the end zone.

The Ravens set­tled for a game-ty­ing field goal with 56 sec­ond left to force over­time, where they ul­ti­mately fell, 129, to the Cleve­land Browns in FirstEn­ergy Sta­dium.

“If I had just made that catch, the game would have been over,” Crab­tree said.

Flacco called it “one of those tight plays” that he needed to see on film be­fore com­mening on.

“I’m sure it could have gone ei­ther way,” he said.

Crab­tree was much more cer­tain what hap­pened.

“I had a game win­ner I could have caught and I put that on me,” he said. “I’m a team player. Let­ting them down, it hurt me. I have to go back to the draw­ing board and get my stuff to­gether.”

The fi­nal in­com­ple­tion capped a dis­ap­point­ing day for the vet­eran wide re­ceiver. Crab­tree also dropped a pair of passes in the first quar­ter.

“These guys are pros,” head coach John Har­baugh said. “These guys are the best play­ers in the world, so they go to work on that ev­ery day. Michael will work on that.”

Crab­tree said he plans to do just that. His drops, he said, were just a mat­ter of con­cen­tra­tion.

“That’s all it is,” Crab­tree said. “You have to see the ball to catch the ball. I need to see it all the way in. If that means that I have to catch 2,000 foot­balls a week in prac­tice, then I am go­ing to have to do that.”

Crab­tree still led the Ravens in re­ceiv­ing yards (66) and tied for the most on the team with six re­cep­tions, though he was tar­geted on six more at­tempts.

The pos­ses­sion that re­sulted with Crab­tree un­able to make a touch­down catch in the fi­nal minute of reg­u­la­tion be­gan with back-to-back re­cep­tions by the wide re­ceiver. Flacco com­pleted to Crab­tree for 6 yards on the first play of the drive, then went right back to him for a gain of 19 yards the next play. The fi­nal play is that one that fans will likely re­mem­ber, but the con­sec­u­tive com­ple­tions were vi­tal in set­ting up Justin Tucker’s 32-yard field goal to force over­time.

(AP PHOTO/RON SCHWANE)

Cleve­land Browns de­fen­sive back Den­zel Ward (21) breaks up a pass in­tended for Bal­ti­more Ravens wide re­ceiver Michael Crab­tree (15) dur­ing the first half of an NFL foot­ball game, Sun­day, Oct. 7, 2018, in Cleve­land.

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