Ravens must turn page af­ter dif­fi­cult de­feat

Cecil Whig - - RAVENS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

— Ter­rell Suggs could only watch from the side­line as Greg Joseph’s game-win­ning, 37-yard field goal just cleared the cross­bar with two sec­onds to go in over­time to de­liver the Cleve­land Browns a 12-9 vic­tory over the Bal­ti­more Ravens on Sun­day at FirstEn­ergy Sta­dium.

In the af­ter­math, the star line­backer wasted lit­tle en­ergy dwelling on a dif­fi­cult road loss that dropped the play­off-as­pir­ing Ravens to 3-2 on the young sea­son. In­stead, he turned his at­ten­tion to the team’s up­com­ing game against the Ten­nessee Ti­tans — Bal­ti­more’s third straight road game and al­ready the fourth away con­test to open the year.

“It’s a long sea­son, but we just have to go back to the draw­ing board,” Suggs said. “The things that we missed, the mis­takes that we made, we’re go­ing to have those same sit­u­a­tions later in the sea­son. What sep­a­rates a good team from a medi­ocre team is if you don’t keep mak­ing the same mis­takes.”

Against a one-win Browns team with a rookie quar­ter­back mak­ing his first ca­reer start at home, there were plenty of mis­takes made by Bal­ti­more.

For starters, a Ravens de­fense, that stood tall for more than four quar­ters on Sun­day, al­lowed quar­ter­back Baker May­field to drive 65 yards in two min­utes, 55 sec­onds to set up Joseph’s game-win­ner. Mean­while, Bal­ti­more’s of­fense failed to find the end zone de­spite three trips into the red zone on Sun­day, while spe­cial teams broke down on a blocked field goal that would have al­lowed the Ravens to tie the game, 6-6, en­ter­ing half­time.

In over­time, Bal­ti­more had pos­ses­sion twice and failed to find the score­board.

“When you get an­other op­por­tu­nity to win the game [in over­time], you think


you’re go­ing to, but the ball didn’t roll our way this time. I don’t think it’s any­thing to hit the panic but­ton on,” the out­spo­ken Suggs said. “It’s more fun for [the me­dia] when we lose. You guys get to talk about how we stink, but it’s cool. The path that we’re on is a for­est. It’s not a straight line.”

Of­fen­sively, Bal­ti­more hasn’t found the end zone in nearly two games. De­fen­sively, they’ve al­lowed one touch­down in seven quar­ters. The Ravens are set to face a sim­i­lar Ti­tans team that, along with a match­ing 3-2 record, boasts a de­fense that al­lowed one touch­down Sun­day and set­tled for four field goals in a 13-12 loss to the pre­vi­ously one-win Buf­falo Bills.

“It is just that we win as a team and we lose as a team,” said Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, who fin­ished with three field goals, in­clud­ing a long of 44 to give Bal­ti­more a 3-0 lead in the first quar­ter. “We have our best foot­ball ahead of us as long as we work. That is all we can do. The only thing you can do af­ter a loss is go back to work and grind on the de­tails and fun­da­men­tals and the scheme. Ev­ery­thing we know that pro­duces win­ning foot­ball.

A win against the Browns would have moved Bal­ti­more into a tie with the di­vi­sion­ri­val Cincin­nati Ben­gals for the sec­ond-best record in the AFC be­hind the un­de­feated Kan­sas City Chiefs. In­stead, the Ravens now find them­selves bat­tling for po­si­tion with a log jam of con­tenders with three wins.

While the Ti­tans game isn’t a “must win,” a vic­tory will again place the Ravens on the in­side track for their first post­sea­son birth since 2014.

“We just came up short and didn’t win the foot­ball game,” Ravens head coach John Har­baugh said. “We’ll go back to work and try to find a way to win the next one.”

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