A depleted Ravens secondary and a stagnant Ravens offense dug a 17-0 hole in the first half of Monday night's game in Green Bay. Turnovers, poor pass coverage and an non-existent running game put the Ravens' playoff hopes on alert.
Playing without injured safety Ed Reed, the Ravens were no match for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who carved them up for two short touchdown passes in the second quarter. The Ravens were flagged for three more pass interference calls -- they lead the NFL with 11 -- to undermine the defensive effort. Frank Walker and Lardarius Webb drew obvious calls, and Domonique Foxworth was called for one that appeared to be borderline at best.
Neither did it help that the Ravens' pass rush was missing in action yet again.
As bad as that was to overcome, the offense was no help. Quarterback Joe Flacco could not establish any rhythm and threw a terrible interception on the second serious on a flea-flicker call.
On the Ravens' first series, reliable Ray Rice fumbled around the Green Bay 20 to snuff the team's best scoring opportunity of the half.
The Packers had one turnover on a Rodgers interception (Tom Zbikowski, starting for Reed, caught a deep ball in the first quarter) after using a challenge to get an apparent fumble by Ryan Grant overturned.
The Ravens started Paul Kruger for injured Terrell Suggs and even used Antwan Barnes on defense in an attempt to get some pass rush. Barnes was held on one play, but otherwise had no effect.