The Baltimore Ravens lost today 24-16 to the Minnesota Vikings, in what was an ugly game all around. The Ravens were without two of their starting receivers, Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman, and lost Mike Wallace in the first quarter due to a concussion. Brandon Williams finally returned from injury, but the defense still got ran over by Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnion, allowing 169 rushing yards. Here are my three takeaways from today’s abysmal loss.
Marty Mornhinweg needs to go
Our other Ravens writer, Isaiah Stumpf, wrote a whole article on this after last week’s lost, so check that out, but today’s game has shown Marty will run the same play-calling no matter the situation. Remember last season when fans were mad the Ravens would stop running the ball when it was working? Well, apparently the Ravens heard our voices and instead they want to run the ball 24/7. Yes, the Ravens were without all three starting receivers for the majority of the game, but this playcalling issue has been going on for six out of the seven games.
The Ravens got the ball with around 30 seconds left with all three timeouts in the first half down nine to six, and instead of trying to march down the field to at least attempt a field goal, they run the ball and attempt short passes across the middle and into the flats. My biggest gripe about the play-calling today, was that on Third and 10, the Ravens decided to run a screen pass to the running back, where he was then tackled four yards behind the line of scrimmage. I’m not sure if Joe Flacco has some sort of PTSD and checks down right away, or if that’s actually what Marty is calling. Either way, the Ravens will not win many games with this ultra-conservative play-style.
Justin Tucker has to be the second coming of Jesus
You know how fans will say they feel bad about teams letting down their star players? Yeah, every fan should be saying that about Justin Tucker and the Ravens. This guy is looking like he will go down in history as arguably the greatest kicker to play the game, and this team is wasting his talent. Tucker went three for three today in field goals, hitting from: 47, 48, and 57. Tucker has a career field goal percentage of 89.4 which is the best all time, and has never missed an extra point in his career. Most would think the Ravens would be dominating with a kicker that is automatic, but nope, not with the Ravens. Tucker just needs the offense to get to around the opposing team’s 37 yard line for points and all the offense does is run the ball or throw a check down that leads to a three and out. Thank God Tucker signed that massive contract this offseason, because if i was him, I’d get out of there as fast as possible.
The Ravens are in a rebuilding period but will not admit it
The Ravens need to come to terms that they are in a rebuilding period. Big names like Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, and Marshal Yanda are nearing the end of their careers and the Ravens need to find and develop their heirs. They did so this year, drafting Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, but those two have been almost nonexistent this season. The Ravens’ offense took a step back once they traded away Anquan Boldin and has been nowhere close since. Now they have been signing 30+ year old receivers and reached for arguably one of the worst receivers of the 2015 draft with Breshad Perriman.
As much as I trust Ozzie Newsome with drafting players, he needs to focus more on the offensive side of the ball. The Ravens have only taken five offensive players in the first two rounds of the draft since 2011. Out of those 14 players drafted, six are no longer on this team, three are above average players, three are either injured or get no playing time, and the last two are rookies who are backups. Now i give credit to Ozzie, two of those five offensive players drafted were Torrey Smith and Kelechi Osemele, left as free agents because the Ravens did not have the money to keep them.
In my honest opinion, this team will continue to rebuild until Flacco’s contract is up, and probably for a few years afterwards. The team has so much money going to him that it’s hard to fill out the rest of the needs the team has. Hopefully this injury bug will finally disappear and we can compete with all this older talent for the next two seasons. Until then, expect a 6-10 or 7-9 record this season.
Link to Isaiah’s article on Marty needing to be fired–> http://marylandsportsblog.com/marty-mornhinweg-needs-to-get-the-boot/