Here are the Cover32/Ravens staff’s quick reactions to Sunday’s season finale:
Chris Brown, Managing Editor:
This game was lost last week, in Pittsburgh, with:09 left. It simply is a Herculean task to ask anyone to get truly motivated for a very meaningless game like this. Even so, the Ravens had their chances, but Joe Flacco’s odd odyssey 2016 continued with late passes in the Redzone that cost the Ravens at least 10 points, possibly 14. Personally, I’m over the loss. Steve Smith Sr. is not going to remember this game, but he will be fond of his time with the Ravens overall. This team was a hair, and a J. Powers effort, away from the playoffs. At this point, it is beneficial to look forward to the improvements and slight adjustments to the staff that could make this team a true juggernaut in 2017. Let me leave you with this: The Ravens were 1-3 in December, and their league-leading defense collapsed. Teams ran at will on them. Teams drove in crucial times on them (New England, Pitt), the SCHEME failed them. If Indianapolis fires Chuck Pagano, what would the odds be of the Ravens letting go of Dean Pees, and re-hiring Pagano, to bring back attacking Ravens defense? He has the stars in the front 7. I know it’ll never happen. One does wonder who will take the fall for this late shortcoming. Definitely not Harbaugh (nor should he). But someone will.
Rich Hallstrom, Assistant Editor:
The Baltimore Ravens 2016 season came to a very disappointing end today. The Baltimore Ravens had their chances early in this game and just didn’t take advantage of them. Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. deserved a better ending. The Baltimore Ravens didn’t challenge the Cincinnati Bengals defense today. The Ravens defense was on the field way too much. The real work begins now with the rebuilding of this team to add a few key pieces in several areas. I have complete faith that John Harbaugh will get it right. Pushing the panic button now would result in a complete disaster.
Power Rankings: Who’s making a late-season push?
Mailbag: What’s up with all the “cheating”?
QB Rankings: A big shift in this week’s rankings
Chuck Mills, Features Editor:
This was the worst game of the season. It’s like they weren’t even trying to win. Was Steve Smith’s last game not enough to get the team pumped up? What happened to all the talk about the team going out there and trying to win today.
Holt Smith, Writer/Intern:
Being at the game, the overall vibe I drew from the team was a feeling of indifference. The players other than Steve Smith Sr. didn’t seem to care too much about mistakes made, bad plays, or even good plays for that matter. Highly disappointed in the results.