NFL Wire News

Ravens’ leeky secondary continues to get burned


The Sports Xchange

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens’ secondary continued to allow big plays in Sunday’s loss at the San Francisco 49ers. This time, former Raven Torrey Smith beat newly-signed Shareece Wright on a double move and caught a 76-yard touchdown pass streaking down the sideline.

The disaster of day continued for Wright in the fourth quarter when he got lost in coverage and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hit Quinton Patton for a 21-yard touchdown.

“This was my first game,” Wright said. “I gave up a big play and that’s on me. I’ll take ownership of that. I can’t allow that to happen.”

The Ravens stopped the 49ers on third down in the fourth quarter, but cornerback Jimmy Smith was penalized for holding that extended the drive.

Last week, Baltimore cut cornerback Rashaan Melvin and signed Wright. The team also activated fellow cornerbacks Asa Jackson and Charles James, who then was waived before taking a snap to make room for running back Terrence Magee.

The group suffered another potential blow against San Francisco when safety Kendrick Lewis left the game in the third quarter with a left knee injury. Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb missed the game with a thigh injury. Still, the players are not blaming injuries for their woes.

“There’s no excuse,” Jimmy Smith said. “I’m not going to say it’s because we’ve been playing from behind. We’re in every single game, so that means we have the opportunity to win. It’s more magnified when we’re losing games. When you mess up one play is more magnified when you’re losing a lot of games.

“It’s tough. I know everybody is sitting with probably the worst feeling in their stomachs. But we have to come through. It’s unacceptable.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was especially peeved by the way his corners were getting beaten by receivers.

“Oh, the double moves,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, you put your eyes where they’re supposed to be in man coverage. It’s as simple as that, you know? You’ve got to do that or you can’t play. It’s simple, you can’t be, you got to play with discipline in the back end. A couple plays, they made some good plays with tight coverage, but no you can’t do that from behind, that’s below the line.”

— Quarterback Joe Flacco has made some questionable decisions this season. None might have more puzzling as the two interceptions he threw against San Francisco.

On the first turnover, Flacco lackadaisically threw the ball directly at linebacker Michael Wilhoite. On the second, Flacco launched the ball deep under pressure and cornerback Kenneth Acker just waited for it to land in his hands almost like a punt.

Flacco recovered from those interceptions with a couple of touchdown passes. However, it was too late for any type of rally. He completed 33 of 53 passes for 343 yards with two touchdowns and the two interceptions.

Flacco signed a huge contract extension after the Ravens won the Super Bowl XLVII, but has been uneven with his performance.

“I’m sure everyone has gone through this. It’s not good when you don’t win football games,” Flacco said. “It doesn’t feel good. The thing is we’re out there and going through it and we haven’t been good enough to win these games. It’s frustrating but at the same time we know we just need to get better.

“That’s all we can do is put our head down and continue to try and get better. Just go out there and win a football game. We just haven’t found a way to do that yet.”

— The Ravens are trying not to get frustrated by losing so many close games. However, several of their losses have come down to the last play of the game, including the most previous setback in San Francisco when Flacco heaved an incomplete pass into the end zone as time expired.

Baltimore has led in the fourth quarter in three of its five losses.

“I get disappointed,” Harbaugh said about the close losses. “You know, but we got to get better. I mean, I can get determined is what I get, you know? And I believe we have a bunch of guys that feel the same way. We got to get it done.

“It starts with me. The guys are doing the right thing. I don’t care if you’ve been here for four days, you put your eyes on your coverage in the right spot. It’s that simple, you know? We got to execute, you know? We got to execute.”

Linebacker C.J. Mosley, however, the losses are wearing on the team.

“We fix one thing and then another thing happens,” Mosley said. “We know how to win and we know what to do. We practice our butts off in all of these situations in practice. So far things just haven’t been going our way so we just have to find a way to man up and turn the season around before it’s too late.”

INJURY NOTES: S Kendrick Lewis left the game in the third quarter with a left knee injury. The Ravens could not afford another injury to the secondary with Lardarius Webb (thigh) also already sidelined. Harbaugh initially does not believe the injury is too severe. Lewis had an MRI on Monday but the results were not available. Webb’s status for Week 7 against Arizona is uncertain. … TE Crockett Gillmore returned to action after missing the previous two games. Gillmore caught three passes for 30 yards. He did not show any ill-effects from the calf injury that kept him sidelined and should be available against Arizona. … DE Chris Canty (calf) was held out of the lineup again against San Francisco. Canty has not played since Week 2 at Oakland. Once again, Lawrence Guy started at defensive end in his place and had a key deflected pass. Guy also finished with five tackles, including a sack.

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