Maybe it was just a matter of time that naming our team after an Edgar Allan Poe poem was going to come back to haunt us. But this season has been particularly gruesome, has it not? It seems like every game there is a fourth-quarter pick, a blown call, a terrible quarterback that we make look like Tom Brady, a giant sink hole that Justin Tucker’s foot falls into (actually, that really happened), or a thwarted rally. Just in time for Halloween, we break down the terrifying details of the Ravens ’15-’16 campaign.
The game: Ravens vs. Broncos
Date: September 13, Mile High Stadium
Moment that made us scream: In the fourth quarter, with the Ravens losing 13-16, Terrell Suggs attempted to rush quarterback Peyton Manning, got tangled up in the legs of OT Ty Sambrailo, and went down. Ravens fans were hopeful the defensive leader might return the next game, if not later in the quarter. It wasn’t to be. Suggs was diagnosed with an achilles injury and will miss the rest of the season.
The final score: Ravens 13, Broncos 19
The game: Ravens vs. Raiders
Date: September 20, Oakland County Coliseum
Moment that made us scream: After rallying to tie the game at 30, a Ravens victory seemed assured when Will Hill picked off an underthrown pass by Derek Carr. We didn’t quite scream, but perhaps sighed loudly, when Steve Smith Jr. just couldn’t quite keep his feet inbounds on a potential Joe Flacco touchdown pass and the Ravens were forced to settle for a field goal. Still, Ravens fans had every right to be cocky. A late fourth-quarter lead? Against the Oakland Raiders and their, shall we say, less-than-ballyhooed quarterback Derek Carr? With less than a minute to go, Carr drove the Raiders down the field. It seemed like Will Hill had picked him again (oh joy!) but the Ravens were called for defensive holding and the ball stayed with the Raiders. (*Tiny muffled screams into pillow*) From there, Carr threw a touchdown pass as time expired. (*Loud, uncontrollable screams toward the heavens*)
Final score: Ravens 33, Raiders 37
The game: Ravens vs. Bengals
Date: September 27, M&T Bank Stadium
Moment that made us scream: This game had us screaming at least three times. 1) We took the lead in the fourth quarter for the first time when linebacker C.J. Mosley scooped up a fumble and rambled 41 yards for a score. But then, on the Bengals’ very next play from scrimmage, Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton delivered an 80-yard TD strike to A.J. Green and our hearts. 2) Flacco, with 3:56 to play, gave the Ravens their second, fourth-quarter lead, connecting with Steve Smith—and again—our season look saved. Until, of course, Dalton hit Green for another TD with just over two minutes to play. 3) The Ravens final, potential comeback drive was thwarted when a Kelechi Osemele facemask penalty nullified a Steve Smith first-down catch.
The final score: Ravens 24, Bengals 28
The game: Ravens vs. Steelers
Date: October 1, Heinz Field
Moment that made us scream: Nothing. Nothing made us scream. Think of this game as that one happy moment in a horror film that lulls you into a false sense of security right before the masked ax murderer takes down an entire cabin in the woods full of teens.
Final score: Ravens 23, Steelers 20 (OT)
The game: Ravens vs. Browns
Date: October 11, M&T Bank Stadium
Moment that made us scream: Our first “scream” of the day came when Ravens’ defensive end Lawrence Guy got flagged (and rightly so) for roughing the passer—cancelling out an interception—when we were up 14-3 and ready to put the Browns away early. From there, we allowed journeyman Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown to throw for a team-record 457 yards. The most ridiculous moment, perhaps summing up this awful season, came at the start of the fourth quarter when Browns’ tight end Gary Barnridge "caught" a poorly thrown prayer of a pass after he’d fallen near the goal line—the ball had been deflected by Ravens’ safety Will Hill—with his feet and knees for a go-ahead TD.
The final score: Ravens 30, Browns 33 (OT)
The game: Ravens vs. 49ers
Date: October 18, Levi's Stadium
Moment that made us scream: Without a shadow of a doubt, the most horrifying moment came when Torrey Smith caught a deep 76-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to bring the 49ers up 13-3. This was like a villain who comes out of nowhere, considering heading into Week 6, Smith had only totaled 11 catches and 227 yards all season. But he made a point against his former team, especially when he and fellow Ravens alum Anquan Boldin (who clocked 102 yards that day) celebrated in the end zone.
Final score: Ravens 20, 49ers 25
The game: Ravens vs. Cardinals
Date: October 26, University of Phoenix Stadium
Moment that made us scream: The hits kept on coming in last night's game. We first yelped in horror when the refs called back a play, claiming that John Urschel did not report as an eligible receiver. But the thing was, he very clearly did. No need for slow-mo or play back. We all saw it. Beginning to think this season was some cruel joke, we watched in terror as the game went on as they all have. Like a formulaic scary movie, the Ravens began every half with a pass to Kyle Juszczyk, remained in contention the entire time, made a comeback look entirely possible, and concluded the game with a now-signature Joe Flacco interception. We think for the remainder of the season, we might just cover our eyes.
Final score: Ravens 18, Cardinals 26
Additional reporting was provided by senior editor Ron Cassie and digital editor Jess Mayhugh, who are just as terrified as the rest of you.