Instant analysis from the Ravens' 24-16 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota

Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston talks about the Ravens' 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

How our reporters and editors saw the Ravens' 24-16 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota:

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Did you expect much different? If so, you shouldn't have. The Ravens' offense, which has been bad all year, wasn't going to find itself against one of the league's best and quickest defenses, especially with their top three receivers on the sideline. And the Ravens' defense continues to underachieve as well. This team looks broken and they now have another game in four days. This season is circling down the drain quickly.


Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens are fading fast and there isn't much optimism left. They can't stop the run and have few weapons on offense. They can talk about getting injured players back but that's not going to make a big difference. Lack of playmakers is a concern on both sides of the ball again.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: Not sure anybody had a right to expect much after receiver Jeremy Maclin was ruled out before the game and Mike Wallace got concussed on his first catch, especially against the team that has given up the second-fewest points in the NFC. Still, this would have been more of a game if the once-highly touted Ravens defense had been able to keep backup quarterback Case Keenum from being able to flip the field on way too many Vikings possessions. Even the return of Brandon Williams could not keep the Minnesota offense from breaking off big chunks of yardage on the ground. This was supposed to be the string of winnable games the Ravens were hoping to exploit on the way into their bye week, but even the upcoming Thursday night home game against the Dolphins seems problematic.

Wallace takes high hit by Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo and leaves to get tested for concussion.

Edward Lee, reporter: Joe Flacco's game-ending touchdown to Chris Moore isn't going to quell the criticism about an offense that has been spinning its wheels in four of the last five games. The offense was limited to less than 220 yards. Sure, the absence of Jeremy Maclin did not help, but what happened to a running game that averaged nearly 130 yards per game? And the upcoming short week for Thursday's game against Miami may not help in terms of remedying what is ailing the offense.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: What else could you have expected from the Ravens? They were down to one starting wide receiver and he went out early in the game. Their tight ends are invisible and the Vikings are one of the best at stopping the run. It adds up to one ugly offensive performance and another loss for the Ravens. Not sure what they can do in four days to beat an equally inept Dolphins team, but the Ravens have to find a way to score.

Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens' offense has fallen into a pitiful state. After Mike Wallace was driven from the game by a vicious head shot, their skill players were hopelessly overmatched against Minnesota's talented linebackers and safeties. The offensive line didn't do a whole lot better against the Vikings' interior defenders. Once the Vikings scored a touchdown, you felt the Ravens had zero chance to answer. The Ravens' defense wasn't horrible but looked awfully ordinary compared to the group on the other side. In a league of mediocrities, the Ravens aren't technically out of playoff contention. But their season has taken a bleak turn.

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