The Baltimore Ravens came away with a 29-26 win over the San Diego Chargers yesterday to earn just their second win of the season. The win was big for Baltimore as they were able to put an end to a three-game losing streak, but it did not come without damage as the entire NFL was ravaged by injuries on Sunday, including a major blow to the Ravens offense.
Steve Smith Sr. had to be helped off the field by the medical staff. It was revealed after the game that he tore his Achilles’ tendon and will miss the remainder of the season. It’s a tough blow to a man that was having one of his best seasons yet in what he told us would be his final season. You know the 15-year veteran had to be in some serious discomfort as he was taken off the field with a towel over his head. It was a tough scene to watch for arguably the toughest player in all of football.
Justin Tucker opened up the scoring early in the first and finished the game with a 39-yard field goal as time expired to send Baltimore into the bye week on a better note.
The Ravens got the win despite playing an average game. The offense only had three series the entire first half, all of which ended with points. However, Baltimore entered the half trailing after Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen in the back of the end zone to give San Diego a 16-13 lead.
Smith was phenomenal leading up to his injury in the third quarter, catching five passes for 82 yards. It was meant to be a great day for smith aw he passed Cris Carter to enter the top-ten in career receiving yards early in the game. Instead, the day could go down as the last time he ever dons a NFL uniform.
He made a great play after the catch before falling to the turf and grabbing at his ankle. You knew right away that it was a significant injury and fans are hopeful that this is not how we are going to see Smith’s Hall of Fame career end.
Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens players react as wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) lays on the ground in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Givens and Kamar Aiken did step up for the Ravens in Smith’s absence. Givens had his best game as a Raven, finishing with three catches for 57 yards. He was the recipient of a 18-yard reception on the final drive that helped the Ravens get down the field. Aiken caught a 13-yard pass to get the Ravens into San Diego territory.
Joe Flacco put the team on his back in this game, throwing for 319 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens ran the ball just four times in the first half, but managed to score on all three possessions. That’s the kind of effort the Ravens are going to need for the remainder of the season with Smith now out.
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Losing Smith is a big blow to the offense so it was nice to see the other guys step up. However, we all know they cannot be relied on for the entire season. The Ravens really need first-round pick Breshad Perriman now and will be hopeful that the bye week is enough time to get him back. The team is likely to pursue a free agent receiver in the upcoming days.
It was tough to see the heart and soul of this current team to go down like that. If that was the final play of Smith’s career, that’s rough. That’s a terrible ending to a fantastic career.
The first half of the season was rough for the Baltimore Ravens. They will have two weeks to figure out the course for the remainder of the season. The schedule does get easier in the second half of the season so they could turn things around.
They welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10, a team with Blake Bortles and young playmakers that make them competitive. Baltimore has to carry some of the momentum over from this win over San Diego into the second half if they hope to salvage something out of this season.