Ravens must turn page after difficult defeat
— 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.”