When Patrick Peterson returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Ravens’ eventual 30-27 victory over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, the current group of Ravens became the first squad to surrender kick and punt returns for scores in the same season since the 2002 team.
That dubious honor doesn’t sit well with special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.
“Giving up two touchdowns is never acceptable,” he said Thursday during his weekly briefing. “It’s certainly not acceptable now nor will it be acceptable. So we’re aware of those issues, and we’re dealing with them.”
With regards to Peterson’s punt return, linebacker Albert McClellan and safety Haruki Nakamura said players failed to stay in their pursuit lanes, allowing Peterson to weave his way to the end zone. Both players also said the blame should go to coverage unit, not the coaches.
The long return helped drop the Ravens' coverage team from fourth in the NFL in punt-return average last week to 21st this week.
“A week ago, the same group of guys, generally speaking, was one of the top punt-coverage units in the league,” Rosburg said. “I think we were in the top five of the two most important categories, and then one play later, disaster. It was a number of factors going into that play, and I really do appreciate the guys that stepped forward and were accountable and took responsibility. But it wasn’t just them. It was a complete punt-team breakdown, including the coach. So you can look at a variety of different factors.”