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Blame it on the Ravens

The Baltimore Sun

No question that game officials came up small in the Ravens' 13-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on the roughing-the-passer penalty against linebacker Terrell Suggs on third-and-10 with 5:50 left in the game.

The zebras failed to stop the play on Tennessee's false start, and referee Bill Carollo simply missed the call on Suggs' alleged blow to the helmet of quarterback Kerry Collins.

But that didn't cost the Ravens the game.

The Ravens flat-out squandered an opportunity to knock off an undefeated opponent, and it was a team effort - defense, offense, special teams and coaching.

Even the Ravens will acknowledge that after the roughing call, the Titans, trailing by four points, needed to march 65 yards against one of the NFL's most stifling defenses. Tennessee did just that, converting on third down twice and getting help from the Ravens with a 12-men-on-the-field penalty at the Ravens' 31-yard line.

The offense, with an opportunity in the last two minutes to mount its own drive for a tying field goal, failed as it did for most of the day. What could have been a statement-making offensive series ended after just two downs with quarterback Joe Flacco throwing his second interception of the game.

Ravens kicker Matt Stover continued his slow start this season by missing a 45-yard field-goal try at the end of the first half.

And the clock/timeout management preceding Stover's miss had fans scratching their heads. There were 48 seconds remaining, and the Ravens had a timeout left when they snapped the ball on Willis McGahee's 14-yard run that went to the Titans' 22-yard line. But the Ravens didn't get off another offensive play as tackle Jared Gaither had a false start and Stover was subsequently sent out.

Ravens fans might feel they were robbed by the guys in the striped shirts, but in truth, it was the bunch in white, purple and black who gave it away.

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