The Ravens entered yesterday's game against the Panthers ranked 20th in the NFL in red zone efficiency, getting touchdowns on 48.4 percent of their trips inside their opponent's 20-yard line through their first nine games.
That number took another hit yesterday.
Baltimore reached the end zone on just one of their four red zone trips against Carolina, dropping their red zone efficiency to 45.7 percent for the season.
The red zone issues prevented the Ravens from pulling away from the Panthers after jumping out to an early lead, and left things much closer in the fourth quarter than they probably should have been.
After Joe Flacco's 56-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh gave Baltimore a 7-0 lead just two minutes and change into the game, the Ravens had a chance to tack on another seven points on their next drive and take a big first quarter advantage.
They marched 84 yards on 13 plays and had the ball inside the Carolina 10, but were unable to finish the drive and had to settle for a Billy Cundiff chip-shot field goal.
On their next possession, the Ravens moved the ball to the Panthers' 11-yard line, but this time they came away with nothing.
Flacco mixed up his play calls, and instead of giving the ball to wide receiver Donte' Stallworth on an end around as he was supposed to, he thought he was supposed to hand it off to running back Ray Rice. The miscommunication led to a fumble, and Carolina recovered, ending the Baltimore drive.
Finally, the most frustrating red zone flop of the game came on the first possession of the second half.
Rookie David Reed returned a kickoff 84 yards and set the Ravens up with fantastic field position at the Carolina 18. Already leading 17-6, Baltimore had a chance to grab the early momentum coming out of halftime and crush nearly any chance of a Panthers comeback.
Instead, they gained just three total yards on three plays, and Cundiff again was called on to boot through a short field goal.
The Ravens were terrible in the red zone two weeks ago against the Dolphins, going 1-of-7 inside the Miami 20. They bounced back with a 3-for-3 performance against Atlanta last week, but struggled again in red zone opportunities yesterday.
With all the weapons at Flacco's disposal and the physical nature of guys like Anquan Boldin, Todd Heap and Willis McGahee around the goal line, that's an area which must improve over the final six weeks of the regular season.