By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
It’s rare to hear a player speak so bluntly about his own team, but that’s the kind of letdown the Baltimore Ravens just had.
Rolling into the playoffs on a 12-game winning streak and securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Ravens squandered their best opportunity to make the Super Bowl in a long time in a 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans. It was practically a top-to-bottom no-show, as they faltered early on both sides of the ball and could never recover.
The defense is where the frustrations for Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey came in. Titans receiver Kalif Raymond burned Humphrey and the rest of the Baltimore secondary for a 45-yard touchdown early in the second quarter that put Tennessee up 14-0 and the Ravens in a spot they hadn’t been in for a long time – having to play from behind by multiple scores.
From there, barely anything went the Ravens’ way in any phase of the game. A cynical observer might say they “choked”. In fact, that’s what Humphrey said about his own team.
“This team’s identity right now is to get to the playoffs and choke,” said Humphrey, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “It is what it is. That’s just the hard truth.”
Asked how the Ravens should be remembered, Humphrey said: “As losers, I guess. We kind of just lost. So, that’s how I would remember it.”
Humphrey didn’t just say it in the heat of the moment mere minutes after a hugely disappointing loss, either. He stuck to that sentiment the next day during the Ravens’ final media availability of the season.
“I stand by that,” Humphrey said, via Hensley. “It actually was what I was thinking on the sideline. It’s crazy. You are what you show on paper, and you are what you show on the field. That’s what we’ve shown on the field.”
Calling the Ravens chokers is ultimately more of a hot take than any kind of intensive analysis of the team. But it’s clear that, as the No. 1 seed and the Super Bowl favorite, they didn’t perform nearly up to their capabilities when it came time to win a big game in January. They’ll have to take a different approach next year if they want to avoid the label that their own cornerback gave them.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.