news ravens blow 20 3 lead fall on last second bills field goal in rainy 23 20 loss
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Ravens blow 20-3 lead, fall on last-second Bills field goal in rainy 23-20 loss

Baltimore Ravens
(© melissamn – Shutterstock)

The Baltimore Ravens fell to 2-2 on the season, losing a wild game at home to the Buffalo Bill on Sunday, 23-20.

Baltimore led 20-10 at the half but could not score in the second half as Josh Allen led an inspired comeback for the Super Bowl contenders. The win moves the Bills to 3-1 on the season.

The Ravens had the ball forever 38 minutes, were better than Buffalo on third down, but it was not nearly enough with some questionable play calls late.

Why the Bills won

Because of Allen. The MVP favorite did it again, producing another gem in the air and on the ground. OK, fine, maybe he wasn’t stellar in the air, but he was when needed. He went 19-for-36 for 213 yards with one touchdown and a pick, but he also matched Lamar Jackson in the run game. While Jackson rushed 11 times for 73 yards, Allen had 70 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Why the Ravens lost

There were a lot of reasons. The nine penalties didn’t help, but going 2-for-4 in the red zone did not help either. They just did not execute in the moments where they needed to, but some of that falls on coach John Harbaugh, who has to answer some tough questions following this defeat.

Game-changing moment

We all know Harbaugh has all the confidence in the world in Jackson, but maybe that is too much? With a drive nearly reaching 10 minutes and consisting of 18 plays, the Ravens were nearing victory. They found themselves with a second and goal on the Buffalo 1 with 5:41 to go.

Next came a three-yard loss on a J.K.Dobbins run and then a two-yard run by Jackson, setting up fourth and goal on the two. The score was 20-20, yet Harbaugh did not kick the field goal, opting to go for a touchdown. Any other outcome would have been better, including a throw out of the end zone and a turnover on downs, but Jackson through an interception that resulted in a touchback.

The Bills would then drive down and win the game on a field goal.

Player of the game

Safety Jordan Poyer. The veteran had that key interception in the end zone and had another earlier in the game, finishing with two.

Key statistic

The Bills had the ball for 18 minutes less than the Ravens yet finished with just two total plays less. That’s indicative of a fast-paced offense that kept the Ravens off balance all day.

What’s next

The Ravens (2-2) face the Bengals on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. The Bills host the Steelers at 1 p.m.

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.