Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Sun reporter Childs Walker analyzes the Ravens after their Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
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1. The Ravens finally paid for a terrible start.( Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports / September 29, 2013 )
The Ravens began in eerily similar fashion to their awful first quarter the previous week against the Houston Texans. Three penalties swamped their first drive. Joe Flacco threw an interception on their second.
But the Ravens defense twice stopped the Bills in the red zone and held them to field goals. When Chris Canty stripped Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel to set up a touchdown pass by Flacco, another Ravens resurrection seemed possible.
The Ravens kept making mistakes -- a dropped pass by Ed Dickson leading to interception, more penalties from the offensive line -- and the Bills, to their credit, seized a healthy percentage of the opportunities created.
The halftime stats painted a disheartening picture for the Ravens. The Bills outgained them 222-121, with 11 first downs to the Ravens' five. The story was even worse in the running game, where the Bills averaged 4.6 yards on 25 carries to the Ravens' 2.1 yards on seven carries.
The Bills brutalized a defensive front that had allowed the Ravens to get away with sluggish starts in home games against the Texans and Cleveland Browns.
It was easy to gloss over the terrible start against Houston given the end result. Ravens players had no explanations and few were demanded. After three weeks, however, this trend has become too troubling to ignore.
We all cherish resilience and a good comeback. But percentages ultimately rule in professional sports. And teams that repeatedly dig holes tend to be, no gentle way to put this, losers.