Against pressure from the New York Giants’ defensive line, the Baltimore Ravens’ new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, sought to use consistent deep passes and to run the ball often. But Baltimore’s offense proved not to be enough in the 33-27 loss to New York.
At the start of the game, Baltimore jumped on the scoreboard with a 10-0 lead. Their offensive drive began with a quick start when wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught a long pass to put the Ravens in a position for a 23-yard field goal. Running back Terrance West later ran to score a touchdown in the end zone.
Unfortunately, the Ravens’ offense failed to continue into the second quarter. What was the culprit? Penalties.
The Ravens’ third drive of the second quarter ended around midfield from an illegal formation penalty on Mike Wallace, and Baltimore was forced to punt.
“Whoever is getting penalties, none of us can do that,” Wallace stated. “There’s no more to say than penalties. That’s what’s killing us.”
By the middle of the third quarter, with both 12 penalties and 12 first downs, the Ravens’ offense had run and thrown for 391 yards. On average, seven penalties were given for every 50 yards. At one point, after a Giants penalty, the Ravens’ offense started at the 35-yard line. However, the stellar field advantage was short-lived because the offense was pushed backwards due to a holding penalty on tight-end Crockett Gilmore. This setback inevitably pushed them out of field-goal range.
The end of the second half concluded with rookie left tackle Alex Lewis being called for both holding and a false start on back-to-back plays. An offensive penalty on West opened the next drive after Baltimore’s defense gave the unit perfect field position with an interception by cornerback Tavon Young. As a result, the Ravens made a 39-yard field goal.
“We had some holding calls, and it’s guys fighting and trying to block as hard as they can. It’s tough in there,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “At the same time, if we want to be successful, if we want to win, we’ve got to find a way to stop committing them.”
Even though the Ravens left New York disappointed, they walked away from Sunday’s game feeling good about the direction their offense is going under Mornhinweg. Overall, Baltimore exhibited good balance with their run game throughout the game. West ran 23 times for a total of 87 yards and two touchdowns, despite not having Pro-Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, right tackle Rick Wagne and left tackle Ronnie Stanley blocking for him.
Even with their recent close losses to the Washington Redskins, 16-10, and the Oakland Raiders, 28-27, the Ravens remain hopeful for their game against the New York Jets this Sunday.
“We’ll get there,” Wallace said. “We’re so close. We could be the best team in the league or the worst team in the league. It’s on us to stop these penalties.”