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Instant Analysis: Poor play-calling dooms Ravens in loss to Eagles

Baltimore Sun staffers analyze the Ravens' 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Ravens coach John Harbaugh agreed that the officiating was "chaotic" and it would be hard to argue. But just as head scratching was the Ravens' play-calling at times today. Abandoning Ray Rice for most of the third quarter, when Joe Flacco clearly was struggling, on so many third-and-short situations cost them the game.

Aaron Wilson, reporter: Questionable offensive play-calling in second half, an ice-cold Joe Flacco, some dubious calls and the impactful play of Michael Vick adds up to a losing equation for the Ravens. The Ravens were awful on third down offensively and didn't do enough defensively to slow down the Eagles' potent weaponry of Vick, running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Brent Celek.

Edward Lee, reporter: The way the offense played raised familiar and well-warranted concerns about the way Ray Rice is utilized and how Cam Cameron calls plays. But it was an unusual sight to see the defense allow the Eagles to march 80 yards in 10 plays to record the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes left. Michael Vick had too much time in the pocket to find receivers, and Brent Celek torched the middle of the field for 157 yards on eight catches. Celek is a good tight end, but what will that mean next Sunday night when Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Tom Brady visit M&T Bank Stadium?Matt Vensel, blogger/reporter: There is plenty of blame to go around after the offense struggled in the second half. Joe Flacco was erratic. His wide receivers struggled to get separation. The offensive line was OK. And the play-calling? Well, that's going to be scrutinized for the next few days I'm sure. But at least it wasn't a letdown. The Ravens fought hard against a pretty good team on the road. Now let's see how they bounce back Sunday night.

Peter Schmuck, sports columnist: Joe Flacco threw an inexplicable interception into triple coverage on 3rd-and-2 at the start of the second half and went on to turn in one of the worst second-half performances of his career. When have we seen him miss so many passes so badly?

Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens can blame this one on inexcusable play-calling. The Ravens’ brain trust talked about how good the Eagles’ defensive line is, yet the Ravens throw the ball 42 times and run Ray Rice just 16 times. He managed 99 yards, by the way, more than 6 yards a carry. Joe Flacco looked like a deer in headlights in the second half, so why not keep throwing the ball? As bad as the replacement refs were, the Ravens’ offensive game plan was worse.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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