Every Tuesday, blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of
For a span of about two quarters Sunday, the Ravens offense, which had started the game with two efficient touchdown drives on their first two possessions, went ice cold. In five straight possessions, the Ravens failed to pick up a first down. Not so suddenly, in the fourth quarter, they trailed the
There was plenty of blame to spread around at that point. Quarterback
"I think all of us were probably frustrated a little bit there," Flacco said after the game. "We weren't able to move the ball, we weren't converting on third down, and so I think you have got to deal with it."
After falling behind, 15-14, with just under nine minutes left to play at
And of course it was Anquan Boldin who provided the spark.
At the snap of the ball, Flacco faked a handoff to Rice -- that’s part of the reason why sticking with the run paid off -- and the running back ran to his right to deny Browns defensive end
The Ravens, who were in max protection on the play-action pass, only had two receivers running routes. Smith ran a deep skinny post on the left, drawing the attention of both safeties. Meanwhile, Boldin, who always seems to victimize the Browns, ran 20 yards then made a sharp left turn into the middle of the field. Flacco drove the ball to him into a window between three defenders, including cornerback
“We just didn’t execute well enough to convert a first down to get ourselves going,” Ravens coach
The Ravens mixed in runs with more passes, and were aided by a personal foul on free safety