Well, that didn’t go as planned.
Coming off a dominating, convincing win over the reigning AFC Champion Steelers last week, the Ravens stunk up the joint in Tennessee, falling to a rebuilding Titans team 26-13.
When you break it down, today’s game was just about a complete reversal of last week’s effort by the Ravens.
Offensively, a group that put up 35 points a week ago managed just 234 total yards and 15 points against an average Titans defensive unit.
The plus-seven turnover ratio of a week ago was minus-two today, as Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and running back Ricky Williams lost a fumble. The pass rush that recorded four sacks and put countless hits on Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday didn’t sack Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck once, and allowed him a clean, comfortable pocket to step into.
A secondary which held Pittsburgh’s speedy wide receiving corps in check gave up chunks of yardage through the air to Kenny Britt and Tennessee’s receiving unit.
A group of receivers and tight ends who ran through the Steelers’ secondary seemingly at will looked slow and was ineffective against Tennessee. Flacco went just 15-of-32 for 197, one touchdown and the two picks, and running back Ray Rice was the team’s leading receiver.
A coaching staff which out-thought and outsmarted their counterparts on the Steelers’ sideline last week was unable to push the right buttons today, and made a couple questionable calls in the second half.
The decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal mid-way through the fourth quarter when a touchdown would have cut the Ravens’ deficit to one score was especially puzzling.
Overall, it was just a lackluster effort from John Harbaugh’s team today, who now fall to 1-1 on the season. The Ravens’ record under Harbaugh against teams with losing records now stands at 18-2, and we’ll have to put all that talk about a deep playoff run on hold for at least a little bit.