Instant analysis from the Ravens' season-ending loss to the Bengals
By The Baltimore Sun
Jan 01, 2017 | 3:36 PM
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: The Ravens delivered the type of clunker you'd expect from a team that got its heart ripped out seven days ago and had nothing on the
Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: The organization won't be making any significant decisions based on one game. But make no mistake, this was a bad look. After talking all week about the importance of the game, the Ravens' play on both sides of the ball exhibited absolutely no sense of urgency. A Bengals' offense that was without their top playmakers shredded a defense that was ranked No.1 in the NFL not too long ago. The offense was poor all afternoon, culminating a poor season for Joe Flacco. The Ravens have a ton of work to do. This was a flawed team all year and the Ravens went out with a whimper.
Edward Lee, Ravens reporter: The Bengals were several games behind the Ravens in the standings, but is anyone stunned by Sunday's result? The Ravens were likely emotionally spent after that 31-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Bengals were motivated to protect Marvin Lewis' job security. The loss will certainly invite more speculation about John Harbaugh's future and force the team to make changes in the offseason.
Mike Preston, Ravens columnist: This was the worst game the Ravens have ever played under coach John Harbaugh. A letdown was expected after the loss to Pittsburgh last week, but this defeat was embarrassing, downright pitiful at times. All the problems the team faced this season were played out in this game and the Bengals were without their top offensive players. These are the types of games that get head coaches fired, but I don't expect that to happen to Harbaugh. Overall, Ravens still on right track.
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: The Ravens delivered the type of clunker you'd expect from a team that got its heart ripped out seven days ago and had nothing on the line in Week 17. Who knows how they would have played if the division was at stake? But if it was anything like they did Sunday, it would have been one of the more frustrating days in team history.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Wow, the Ravens couldn't even beat the Bengals' second-stringers (or third-stringers in the case of Rex Burkhead, who absolutely ran over the Ravens today). A sad way to end a sad 2016 season.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Really don't know what to think after that performance. The Ravens should have been motivated enough by the chance to finish with a winning record to beat a banged-up and hopeless Bengals team. They should have been smart enough not to make another stupid play call on first-and-goal at the 2-yard line after Joe Flacco threw that terrible interception against the Eagles. Instead, they were overmatched in the first half and underwhelming in the second. They go into the offseason with John Harbaugh's third non-playoff season since the Super Bowl and they've got a lot of work to do on a lot of levels.
Childs Walker, reporter: For all their talk about wanting to secure a winning record, the Ravens did not show up ready to play, a rarity in John Harbaugh's nine years as coach. The defense was particularly lackluster in the first half, and Joe Flacco threw one of his trademark blind-spot interceptions to blunt the team's momentum before halftime. The game obviously didn't matter much, but it was a downbeat ending to a season that suggested a rebuild is in order.