The Baltimore Ravens had a commanding 20-0 lead late in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium last Saturday, but failed to score in the game’s final quarter and a half, as the Cleveland Browns rallied for two touchdowns.
Baltimore did hold on for a 20-14 victory, but Flacco said he was “disappointed” the game became as close as it did.
“On Monday, head coach John Harbaugh disagreed with the fact that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who calls the plays, eased up in the second half, pointing out that three dropped passes, two by tight end Ed Dickson, curtailed drives,” John Eisenberg of CSNBaltimore.com writes.
“The biggest issue in the second, obviously, was the drops,” Harbaugh said, via CSNBaltimore.com. “If we catch the ball … those drives are going to be extended and we’re not going to be punting … It’s pretty simple what happened in the second half, I think.”
However, there are some numbers that support Flacco’s thinking that the play-calling became more conventional.
The Ravens ran the ball 15 of 28 plays in the first half. But in the second half, Cameron’s philosophy changed, as the Ravens ran the ball nearly two-thirds of their offensive snaps (22 of 34).
On Wednesday, Flacco reiterated his point to the media.
“We didn’t come out and play like we wanted in the second half, obviously,” Flacco said, via CSNBaltimore.com. “I think there have been games this year when we’ve come out throwing the ball because we’ve been down a lot, and you (reporters) have all complained about it. Now, this week we kind of came out and we honestly played conservative. And when we didn’t, we missed a couple plays, whether it was a drop or a missed throw here (or there).
“I wish you guys would help me out a little bit and start complaining a little bit that we play a little too conservative and put pressure on our coaches to not do that.”
Flacco’s frustrations aren’t unwarranted because this has been a recurring theme throughout the season.
After being openly ripped by his quarterback, maybe Cameron will finally get the hint about his suspect play-calling.
Cameron will have his chance to respond Thursday when he speaks to the media.