Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. That’s what Washington learned during its semi-charmed win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. To its credit, Washington played well — but the team got a lot of help along the way.
Four pivotal moments swung this game away from Baltimore. If any of them change, there’s a good chance the Ravens win, or at least take the game to overtime.
The horrible fake.
Look at this field goal fake. Stare into the void. It’s almost as if someone controlled the Ravens with an Xbox controller and called the fake FG in Madden. It’s awful. Had they just settled for the field goal, then instead of hucking it into the end zone from the 30 on the final series, the Ravens could have slotted home an easy kick and taken it to overtime.
Steve Smith injured.
Josh Norman vs. Steve Smith was supposed to be the matchup of the game. Alas, the former Carolina Panthers teammates never really got to face off. Smith injured his ankle early and couldn’t return to the field.
Last week Smith totaled 111 yards on eight catches against the Oakland Raiders. This week the Ravens’ top receiver finished with just 63 yards.
The pick-six that never was.
This is the play that literally lost the game. C.J. Mosley had an easy touchdown, or at least gotten Baltimore to the 1-yard line — but then he comically fumbled into the end zone. It gave Washington a 17-yard gain on a near-guaranteed pick-six.
The last-second catch that was out.
There was one last chance for the Ravens to win on the game’s final series. Deep in Washington territory, Joe Flacco aired out an exceptionally good pass to Breshad Perriman. He had Norman beat and out of position, but was just inches from getting his second foot down. Initially ruled a touchdown, this was overturned when referees saw the replay.
All of these moments could have gone differently, but they shouldn’t have. The final touchdown pass was a 50/50 play, but the fake and pick-six were not. The Ravens squandered 10 points and lost by six. That’s all that matters.
Cousins on his way into locker room: "finding a way! Finding a way! That's three!"— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) October 9, 2016
You’re darn right, Kirk.