Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their immediate thoughts about the Ravens' game against the Houston Texans in Week 16 of the NFL season.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens now will need help to get into the playoffs, and they have nobody to blame but themselves. To have that wretched of a performance with so much on the line spurs so many questions about the makeup and talent on the team, along with the coaching. All the strides that Joe Flacco and Gary Kubiak's offense have made this season now seem rather insignificant. Given the circumstances, it truly was one of the worst performances during John Harbaugh's tenure, and the Ravens are going to have a long time to lament it unless they get some help over the next week and make it to the postseason.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens earned this loss, and they haven't shown in the past two weeks that they are playoff sharp.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Joe Flacco picked a very bad time to have one of the worst games of his career. The Ravens held their postseason destiny in their hands and looked like anything but a playoff team at NRG Stadium, where a fourth-string quarterback walked off the field a winner and Flacco is still wondering what hit him. What happens next is anyone's guess.
Childs Walker, reporter: This was a stunning failure, no other way to put it. The Ravens controlled their playoff destiny against a quarterback who had been on another team's practice squad the previous weekend. And they were never really in the game. Joe Flacco played one of the worst games of his career, never appearing comfortable against a Houston defense that's pretty ordinary outside of J.J. Watt. The Ravens have quietly regressed in the running game, and without their desired balance, they looked a lot like the 2013 team in this crucial loss. The Ravens still have a solid shot at the AFC's sixth playoff spot, but this was as bad as it gets.
Jon Meoli, reporter: J.J. Watt's first sack coming on what proved to be the game-deciding fourth down was somewhat fitting. Watt and the Texans' front seven ruined the Ravens' plans from the jump Sunday, and a second straight shaky game by the Ravens' offensive line meant Joe Flacco and company couldn't do anything all day. The Ravens' defense, for the most part, held up, but too many turnovers put them in bad spots. The biggest disaster of the season, save for maybe the loss at Pittsburgh, really limits this team's potential to make the playoffs. Hard to believe for a team that does as many things well as the Ravens do.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: With the playoffs on the line, you would never expect the Ravens to come up this small, even on the road. Words can't describe this loss. Now they need to win next Sunday and pray. After the crushing loss to the San Diego Chargers and this debacle, the Ravens simply don't look like a playoff team.