NFL

Lamar Jackson rues Ravens' 'ridiculous' slow starts after Dolphins loss

By Sports Desk November 12, 2021

Lamar Jackson could not lead another fourth-quarter recovery as the Baltimore Ravens suffered a shock loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

The Ravens entered the game 6-2 with their struggling opponents 2-7, but Baltimore have been run close in a number of their wins this season.

Four times they have trailed in the fourth quarter but come back to win, tying the Los Angeles Chargers for the most fightbacks in the NFL. The Ravens had only four such wins across the previous five years.

But a fifth turnaround proved beyond Jackson and Baltimore in a 22-10 defeat.

They had won each of their previous three meetings with the Dolphins by more than 30 points – tying a league record for one team against another – but this time paid the price for a sloppy start.

The Ravens punted on four of their first six drives – including a pair of three-and-outs – and made and missed a field goal from the other two to head in 6-3 down at halftime.

Crucially, there was precious little improvement in the second half this time, with three more punts in the third quarter and then a fumble that Xavien Howard recovered for a Miami touchdown at the start of the fourth.

Jackson, who had 238 yards passing and just 39 yards rushing, finally led Baltimore back down the field to cut the Dolphins' lead to 15-10, only for Tua Tagovailoa – returning from injury in relief of Jacoby Brissett – to run in another TD.

An interception on third and goal capped a dismal night for Jackson and his team, with the tone set right from the start.

"We've been slow, slow every week. It's ridiculous," the quarterback said. "I don't understand it.

"We've just got to do a better job of hitting the ground running like we're supposed to. That starts by staying calm, just doing us, not putting anything else on our mind."

Miami had success in blitzing the 2019 NFL MVP, who had tossed an accurate, well-thrown pass on just 67.9 per cent of his previous attempts when blitzed this year, the ninth-worst rate in the league.

Jackson believes he and the Ravens are capable of dealing with similar defenses, though.

"Play our game, do us. We don't change for anybody, we'll be good," he said. "There were some plays we left on the field, little mishaps."

Indeed, coach John Harbaugh said he was to blame for the offense being exploited.

"This falls squarely on me as head coach," he said. "We were not prepared as we needed to be prepared, our schemes were not up to snuff. We weren't prepared to execute the way we needed to.

"That's it – not on one player. The players played their hearts out, worked hard all week, they did everything they could to be prepared, and we just weren't ready. That's on me."

Related items

  • Jets handed boost as Wilson injury not as bad as feared Jets handed boost as Wilson injury not as bad as feared

    The New York Jets and their fans can breathe a sigh of relief after an MRI on Zach Wilson's right knee showed a healthy ACL, avoiding the worst-case scenario.

    The scans showed that the second-year quarterback is dealing with a bone bruise and torn meniscus, according to multiple media reports. Wilson will undergo arthroscopic surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the preseason.

    His status for the Jets' season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on September 11 is in question, but there is some optimism that he could suit up.

    Wilson suffered the injury Friday night while scrambling in the Jets' preseason opener against the Eagles.

    Wilson made an awkward cut during the 7-yard rush and fell to the turf. Given the non-contact nature of the injury, Jets fans and pundits feared he had torn his ACL, which would have ended his season.

    The second overall pick in the 2021 draft, Wilson went 3-10 as a starter in his rookie campaign, throwing for nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

  • Jesus 'just wanted to play' after scintillating home bow for Arsenal Jesus 'just wanted to play' after scintillating home bow for Arsenal

    Gabriel Jesus merely wanted an opportunity for regular football as he sought a move away from Manchester City to Arsenal.

    Jesus opened his account for his new club in style on Saturday, scoring twice in a 4-2 victory over Leicester City.

    The Brazil forward, who cost Arsenal a reported £45million in July, also assisted his side's other two goals.

    He finished with statistics of seven shots, with three on target, and three chances created.

    Jesus moved on from the champions in search of guaranteed game time, and he will no doubt get that at Arsenal should this form continue.

    "A lot, a lot," Jesus told Premier League productions when asked how much he was enjoying his role at Arsenal.

    "I was not unhappy at City, I just wanted to play and the club understood, and the manager.

    "Sometimes players want to play, I’m the same. Here I come, train every day, with Eddie [Nketiah], who has a lot of quality and confidence to play as well. I think Arsenal have two good strikers."

    Jesus also detailed his frustration at missing some gilt-edged chances – including an open goal late on – to net a hat-trick.

    "Of course, for sure! I work all day every day to score goals, to help [the team]," he said when asked if he was disappointed not to get a third, referring to a brilliant chance he engineered for himself late in the second half after taking down Aaron Ramsdale's pass, only for Wilfred Ndidi to intervene.

    "The ball from Aaron, I did well, and then I got to shoot, but the defender came back quick, and after I had another chance to score, so I am a little bit sad because of this. 

    "But I'm so happy, not just because of the goals but the way the team has played. In difficult moments, we conceded two goals, but we played well and tried always to score."

    Jesus became the 12th different Brazilian player to score a Premier League goal for Arsenal, while he is the first player to score more than once on his home debut for the club in the competition.

    With two assists as well, he was the first Arsenal player to both score and assist two or more goals in a Premier League game since Theo Walcott against Newcastle United in December 2012 (three goals, two assists).

  • Spalletti confirms Simeone deal close as Napoli begin 'new cycle' Spalletti confirms Simeone deal close as Napoli begin 'new cycle'

    Napoli are closing in on the signing of Verona striker Giovanni Simeone as Luciano Spalletti said the Serie A club are beginning a "new cycle" following a host of big-name exits.

    Spalletti's team threatened a first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era before tailing off to finish third last season, but have since seen the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne depart.

    Reports have suggested Napoli will combat the losses of Mertens and Insigne – the top two goalscorers in the club's history – by bringing in Verona striker Simeone on an initial loan deal.

    Simeone – the son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone – scored 17 Serie A goals last season, a tally bettered only by Ciro Immobile (27), Dusan Vlahovic (24) and Lautaro Martinez (21).

    The Argentine averaged a goal every 157 minutes throughout the campaign, converting 55 per cent of his big chances.

    Ahead of Napoli travelling to Verona for their Serie A opener on Monday, Spalletti revealed the striker's arrival was imminent as he pledged to rebuild the Partenopei's side.

    "If everything is okay, of course he will come, we are waiting for him, if you stay, say hello to him too!" Spalletti said amid reports Simeone was undergoing a medical with Napoli.

    "He is one we need and Naples is what he needs, it is a correct purchase.

    "We will do our best right away, and that I am convinced that we will make the fans fall in love again, as happened last year.

    "Now we are talking about a Napoli that no longer sees in their ranks the most important players, and there is talk of players for a new cycle.

    "It's a responsibility that stimulates me a lot. Of course, a little support from the city and society is needed, the most difficult things are those of the changing room dynamics.

    "They changed without [Faouzi] Ghoulam, [David] Ospina, Mertens and Insigne. In addition to the game dynamics there are those of character, and we have to recreate those there. I'm not afraid of anything." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.