Wake-up caw: Ravens find consolation

Joe Flacco threw the most interceptions by a Baltimore Ravens quarterback. The Ravens ran the ball the fewest times in their history. And the defense nearly allowed the most rushing yards in the franchise's existence.

Translation: the Ravens have a lot of work to do to become a playoff team, much less defend their Super Bowl title. But the Ravens acknowledged they feel fortunate that they have not played their best football and are still in first place in the AFC North.

"It’s a consolation, no doubt," coach John Harbaugh said. "Here we sit; we’re tied for the lead in our division, with a tiebreaker on Cleveland. And if I’m in Pittsburgh, I’m looking at it like, ‘We’re two games out of the lead in the division.’ They’re right there.' Whoever wins the division games is going to win the division. But, we can do our cause a whole lot of good by going down to Miami and playing our best and winning the football game. That’s going to be our objective.”

Here is your Tuesday edition of the wake-up caw ...

  • The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston believes getting back to the run going to be the key for the Ravens. The problem is the offensive line, and it is not like the Ravens can shake up the lineup. The backups are A.Q. Shipley, Jah Reid and Rick Wagner.

  • Clifton Brown, of Comcast SportsNet, thinks the Ravens should throw early and run later. "Start the game trying to move the football through the air," Brown wrote. "Spread the field, force the defense to honor the pass, and perhaps that will make it easier for the Ravens to run the football as the game progresses."

  • Baltimore allowed 203 rushing yards, just 24 yards short of the franchise record set last season versus the Cowboys (227 yards). "At the end of the day, we’ve got to play better,” defensive tackle Marcus Spears told the team's website. “I think it boils down to that. A lot of this game is technique, a lot of this game is scheme, but guys have to make adjustments on the run and we didn’t do that well enough today.” On the list of concerns from the Buffalo loss, run defense is not near the top. The Ravens had been playing solid run defense.

  • Penalties were also a problem for the Ravens, The Baltimore Sun pointed out. The Ravens were flagged eight times for 59 yards. "We have to find a way to win the tough games, but, at the same time, not find a way to shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. It should be noted that the Bills were penalized more (11 times for 99 yards).