At times this season,
How much work that unit has to do was evident in the final 16 minutes, 52 seconds of the team's 23-20 loss to the
In that time frame including the last 1:52 of the third quarter and the entire fourth, the offense had three possessions, but managed just two first downs. The Ravens never moved past their own 32-yard line and compiled just 17 yards in 4:38 with the football.
"I think we probably hurt ourselves," Ravens quarterback
Informed of the offense's performance in the fourth quarter, coach
"It was obviously not good enough," he said. "We obviously needed more. We needed points. We needed to score some points, and that would have made a big difference in the fourth quarter. We didn't convert."
Especially galling was the inability to turn the last of three Pittsburgh turnovers into points or even a long drive. After scoring touchdowns off of a
But three plays later, Flacco held onto the ball a second too long, allowing outside linebacker
Flacco took the blame for the fumble, saying, "I was trying to take one for the team there. I probably should've gotten down. Everyone was covered downfield, and the defender was able to get his hands on me and knock the ball out."
As they have done in the past, the Ravens veered away from utilizing their
Rice, who entered the game fourth in the
Rice took the diplomatic approach and didn't complain about being ignored in the fourth quarter.
"My touches go with the game flow," he said. "Obviously, I turned up a huge bunch of yards today, and we could have ran the ball a little bit more. But you know what? Situational football came into play. We put ourselves in the best situation to try and win the game. It was all about execution today. We just fell a little short. Our offense is still a young, growing offense, and we're going to continue to try and get better each week."
In that final stretch, the offense threw the ball 11 times and ran it just twice. The unit's troubles contributed to the defense spending 12:14 of the fourth quarter on the field. Wide receiver
"Yeah, we felt like we left plays out there," he said. "We felt like we could've put them away early. Missed opportunities at the end of the game there. Like I said, we'll go back and correct them."
The work continues for the offense.