The Baltimore Ravens earned a spot in infamy Sunday, becoming the first team in more than a decade to blow a 21-point fourth quarter lead. They surrendered touchdowns on their last four possessions to allow the Miami Dolphins to win at M&T Bank Stadium for the first time ever.
So how did it happen? Yes, Tua Tagovailoa was electric (469 passing yards, six touchdowns), but the Ravens also had some major breakdowns on the backend on his two deep touchdown passes to Tyreek Hill. Marcus Peters simply got beat deep on the first (which went for 48 yards), while Hill was all alone on the second (60).
A big factor: Injuries to Ravens corners, including Marlon Humphrey (groin), meant a lot of untested players got subbed in and out, creating some big-time communication issues. Humphrey, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, and other Ravens players answered tough questions after the game. Here’s what they said.
Baltimore Ravens react after blowing huge lead to Dolphins
Harbaugh said losing that way “doesn’t feel good, that’s for sure. We know we’re capable of being much better. You have to tip your hat off to them; they made the plays, but when you watch the tape, there’s going to be a lot of stuff to clean up. We made mistakes, and we have to own it. That’s just part of the game. It’s part of the early part of the season, but no excuses. We have to wear that one. It sucks, but they beat us.”
Humphrey said that having to watch much of the fourth quarter from the sidelines “sucked. Everybody is hurt nowadays, so we’ve just got to go, wrap it up, do the things we can. But it definitely sucked watching those last couple of series. I really wanted to be out there, but [I’ll] get back healthy this next week, and hopefully, I’ll be good to go.”
The mixing and matching of corners did impact communication, Harbaugh acknowledged. “Yes, that’s the issue. Never did you think we were going to have that many balls thrown over our head. That just can’t happen; that’s not OK. I don’t care who’s back there, [or] what they’re doing. Those plays will cost you a game when you have a lead like that. You can’t have miscommunication; you can’t have a guy running a post behind Cover-3. Those kinds of things can’t happen.”
Discussing Hill’s second touchdown, Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton said communication was an issue. “There was a miscommunication. It’s something that we preach, and we practice every day, but we’ve just got to be about it in the game, and I think that showed towards the end.”
“That performance is on us, on the defense, ” added Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen. “On third down, we have to get off the field, get the ball back to the offense and let them keep doing their thing. Obviously, Lamar [Jackson] is a great player, and it’s hard to stop him, so as much as we can get the ball back to them, that’s what we need to do. Communication, doing your job, whatever it comes down to, that’s what we’ve got to do, and we’ve got to get better at.”