Baltimore Ravens Choke Job: 3 Reasons The Ravens Lost To The Pittsburgh Steelers
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It was right there.
Everything started Baltimore's way. Despite offensive struggles, the Ravens found a way to score 21 first-half points and head into the locker room with a 14-point lead.
And then everything went wrong.
Fumble. Interception. Missed receivers. Dropped passes.
While there are plenty of fingers to be pointed, these three plays changed the outcome of today's game and sent Baltimore home without a chance to play again until next September.
3) Anquan Boldin's Critical 4th Quarter Drop
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Defenders converging. Laser throw. Receiver slide down towards the ground. Ball hits Boldin in the numbers.
Incomplete. Chance to get ahead denied.
Field goal instead of touchdown.
Baltimore paid a heavy price this past offseason for Boldin for him to catch these types of passes.
It may be a bit much to say, but at least for this season, consider it a wasted investment.
2) TJ Housmanzadeh's Season-Ending Drop
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Despite many turnovers and missed opportunities, Baltimore still had a chance.
Pinned to the wall with a fourth-and-18 slim glimmer of hope, TJ Houshmandzadeh ran a 19 yard out-route. As Houshmandzadeh cut back, he was wide open.
Joe Flacco threw a perfect ball that hit him in the numbers.
Incomplete pass. Game over. Season over.
If Houshmandzadeh had caught that pass, he would have given the Ravens new life deep in Pittsburgh territory. Instead it's a bunch of what might-have-been, with a side of coulda-shoulda-woulda.
1) Joe Flacco's Poor Game
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It's hard to give so much criticism to the young quarterback when he made two critical throws when he had to. Except a few of his throws put his team in that position in the first place.
Overthrown receivers. An interception that led to a game-tying touchdown.
On that final drive, Flacco seemed too impatient and forced his throws. He would have had a second interception if Derrick Mason didn't do a great job playing defense on an underthrown pass.
16-for-30. 125 yards. Flacco couldn't get the job done when his team needed him the most.
Of course he might not have been in that position if the Baltimore defense didn't allow a Pittsburgh receiver to get behind them on that third-and-19 play that resulted in a 58-yard catch and eventual game-clinching touchdown.
Or Ray Rice's fumble.
Maybe it isn't right to put so much blame on Flacco.
But as with any team, you live and die with your quarterback. And today, Baltimore died.