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Instant Analysis: Cardinals 26, Ravens 18

The Baltimore Sun's experts react to the Ravens' 26-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

Ron Fritz, sports editor: The team with the most turnovers and penalties lost again, and again it was the Ravens. Critical mistakes just doomed them. You have to love their fight, but without playmakers they are going to keep coming up on the losing end.

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Alexander Pyles, Ravens editor: I predicted the Ravens would get blown out in this one. I should have known better. They lost, anyway, but kept it close for 60 minutes, just like they always do. And, as usual, they had the opportunity to win in the fourth quarter, but couldn't quite make enough plays. The Ravens are 1-6 and have one more game before a midseason Bye Week. Five of their first seven games were on the road this season, and today's margin -- eight points -- was the most lopsided loss they suffered. You know the reasons why, so there's not much left to do but state the obvious: It doesn't matter who the opponent is, the Ravens just aren't quite good enough -- or, really, lucky enough -- to win in the NFL.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: Sadly, the Ravens have gotten very good at playing losing football. They were in the lead and gathering momentum in the first half when that fumbled punt turned the game around. They also gave up a huge chunk because they didn't keep playing to the whistle and, of course, committed too many penalties. And still, it came down to the last minute.

Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens' turnover margin is one of the worst in the league, and they're allowing a lot more long gains than they're making. Those are the reasons they're 1-6, and those are the reasons they lost to a well-balanced Cardinals team on Monday night. This was a decent effort in many ways, with Joe Flacco avoiding interceptions until the last series and the defensive front seven making plenty of impressive plays. Again the Ravens were competitive on the road against a very good opponent. But then you watch Jeremy Ross get stripped on a punt return late in the first half and Chris Johnson gain 62 yards after his progress appeared stopped in the second half. And you wonder how the 2015 Ravens always end up on the wrong side of such plays? Are they lousy? Or just mediocre and a bit cursed?

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: It's like a broken record. The Ravens make enough plays to make it close. But they make too many mistakes to win. The turnaround was Jeremy Ross' fumble late in second quarter. Momentum completely changed and Arizona ran off 19 straight points. The Ravens can play with anybody and they'll remain a dangerous team as they play out the string. But they also remain their own worst enemy.

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