A lackluster offensive display against the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday night notwithstanding, John Harbaugh and the Ravens have been sharp when it comes to overturning plays this season.
Harbaugh improved to 5-of-6 in challenging officials' rulings. He won two against the Jaguars.
On first down-and-goal from the Ravens' 3-yard line in the first quarter, Harbaugh successfully challenged an initial ruling that Maurice Jones-Drew was down by contact at the 1 prior to the Jaguars running back getting stripped by free safety Ed Reed.
After review, the Ravens were awarded the ball at the 1. Inside linebacker Jameel McClain recovered the fumble.
On third-and-17 from their own 24 in the second quarter, a Ray Rice completion appeared to end with Jacksonville middle linebacker Paul Posluszny stripping Rice and cornerback Drew Coleman recovering the loose ball at the Ravens' 37.
But another review showed that Rice was down by contact prior to fumbling, and the ball was returned to the Ravens for fourth-and-7 on their own 34.
Harbaugh has now won his last four challenges. His only unsuccessful attempt occurred in the win against the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 25 when he tried to overturn a 2-yard gain for a first down by running back Cadillac Williams.
In four seasons as the head coach, Harbaugh has succeeded on at least half of his challenges three times. The only time he was under 50 percent was last season when he won just 1-of-9 challenges.
Rice's streak ends
Rice's streak of touches without a fumble is no more.
Rice fumbled the ball when he ran into the back of right guard Marshal Yanda after a short gain on the offense's first play of its third possession. Jacksonville cornerback Rashean Mathis recovered the loose ball at the Ravens' 34.
It was Rice's first regular-season fumble in 522 touches and his first since losing one against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 27, 2009.
McPhee makes play in front of family
Rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee got a chance to show off his pass-rushing skills before some family members.
The club's second of two fifth-round picks in April, McPhee and inside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo split a sack of Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the second quarter. With 2½ sacks, McPhee ranks third on defense behind outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (five sacks) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (three).
About 25 family members were in attendance. McPhee's mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were expected to be part of a contingent making the 289-mile trip by car from his hometown of Pahokee, Fla.
Carr, Zbikowski out
Injuries continued to dog the Ravens' secondary.
The defense played without cornerback Chris Carr and starting strong safety Tom Zbikowski. Carr sat out his third straight contest with a left hamstring injury, while Zbikowski missed his second consecutive game with post-concussion symptoms. Carr and Zbikowski had been listed as questionable and doubtful for Monday night.
Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain) was active after fully practicing Friday and Saturday. Smith didn't overtake Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb as starters, but the club's first-round pick in April did play on special teams.
The Ravens also deactivated a pair of starters in wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle) and left guard Ben Grubbs (strained ligaments in right toe) — both of whom had been ruled out Saturday. Rookie Torrey Smith and Andre Gurode made their fourth straight starts for Evans and Grubbs, respectively. The team scratched linebackers Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and Sergio Kindle and rookie running back Anthony Allen (thigh). … Jacksonville deactivated starting left guard Eben Britton (back), who was listed as doubtful. Will Rackley started at left guard. The Jaguars also scratched wide receiver Chastin West, safety Courtney Greene, guard Jason Spitz, tight end Martin Rucker, wide receiver Jarett Dillard and defensive tackle Nate Collins. … Center Matt Birk, inside linebacker Jameel McClain and defensive end Cory Redding represented the Ravens for the coin toss.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun