Ravens vs Jaguars – An Ugly Game of Monday Night Football

Blaine Gabbert got his first win as an NFL quarterback, but couldn’t throw for a touchdown. Marucie Jones-Drew ran for 105 yards against the Baltimore Ravens, but couldn’t get a touchdown. Josh Scobee hit four field goals, three of them from over 50 yards. That gave the Jacksonvilla Jaguars the win. Just that.

Another UGLY offensive night in a week filled with UGLY offenses, the Jaguars struggled to move the ball in the air, nothing new about that. The Jaguars couldn’t find the end zone, but managed to avoid thier sixth loss of the season. How? By Jones-Drew pounding the Ravens defense, gaining 105 yards. Josh Scobee long leg of justice hit field goal after field goal. But it was an UGLY game.

How bad? Both teams punted 16 times. The Ravens had a total of 146 yards. Joe Flacco for 137 yards (21-38), one touchdown, one interception. A 61 QB Rating. Blaine Gabbert? 93 Yards (9-20), 59 Rating. In five and bit games this season, Gabbert has a 48.8% completion rate, 717 yards. He hasn’t thrown for more than one touchdown in a game. Good thing? He hasn’t thrown an interception in the last three. Only that.

At least the running game was working – 132 yards, 105 of them for Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew is having a great seasons considering the fact that all the teams know he’s pretty much the only offensive weapon the Jags have. He’s averaging just over 21 carries a game, nearly 97 yards per game as well. Mighty well when he’s all alone, without an aerial threat to take the load off.

For Baltimore, it was much worse. Like Ray Rice, on of the best running backs in the game, a man who has great hands as a carrier and receiver. He ran for 28 yards, in eight attempts. He caught for 35, 5 receptions. Ricky Williams “helped” on the ground with 5 yards in 3 attempts. A sad, sad night. Frustrating, especially for a defense, that as usual, did it’s job.

More Bad? The Ravnes 11 first downs in the game, the first of them coming in the THIRD QUARTER. It was nine punts, one fumble and one missed field goal prior to that. The first time they got on the board was in the fourth quarter, two minutes left, Anquan Boldin found in the end zone. Flacco had 8 yards in the first half. Passing yards, that is.

The Defense isn’t happy about all this, to be certain. Some of these guys have been here a long time, a no one has ever blamed the Ravens’ defense being the cause of this team underachieving while their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, win two Super Bowls and reach another one. Questioning the play calling came from Terrell Suggs – It baffles me that Ray Rice only had eight carries. When I have a Pro Bowl running back and I see he’s not getting his touches, I’m going to feel a certain way about it. He wants the ball, and I think we should feed him. I have to question how many catches Anquan Boldin had. We’ve got guys on this team that can do some great things, and we’ve got to use those guys. It’s that simple. 

It is simple. Use your best playmakers. The Boldin remark was a bit ignorant. He was targeted 12 times, more than any over intended receiver, but only caught four passes. More due to bad Flacco throwing, but still, it wasn’t like they weren’t looking for him.

But you can’t put on the blame on Flacco. Lee Evans (WR) and Ben Grubbs (LG) are injured. Besides Boldin, the next recievers are two rookies, Torrey Smith and LaQuan Williams. The tight ends (Dickson, Pitta) have hardly been used until this season. We’re a young football team. We’re switching guys out and in up front. We need some time. Like I said, we have to win while we really start jelling. We’re a little bit inconsistent right now. That’s part of what’s good about this is we’re going to learn each week. You’d like to learn while you’re winning football games. For the most part, we’ve done that. But today, we just weren’t able to do it. And it’s got to change.

Jack Del Rio, the closest head coach to being fired this season after five consecutive losses, is just a little bit closer to keeping his job. Josh Scobee becoming the second kick this year and the sixth all time to hit three field goals from over 50 yards, a determined Maurice Jones-Drew, a terrible Ravens offense. You don’t need touchdowns to win football games it seems.

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