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What was missing from the Ravens defense

1/12/2014

The fourth-quarter collapses by the Baltimore Ravens defense cost the team three or four games this season, according to general manager Ozzie Newsome.

One theory for the Ravens' late-game woes is the defense wore down. But, when looking at time of possession in the first three quarters, there were 12 other defenses that were out on the field longer than the Ravens. So, there's a hole in that argument.

Newsome believes the problems in the fourth quarter are the result of something missing on defense.

"In order to be successful, you have to have confidence," Newsome said. "I think we’ve got to build a confidence amongst our defensive players that, in those situations, they can make a play and win the game. They don’t have to go out there and play tentative or scared. Go make the play; the other 10 guys have got your back."

In the Ravens' Super Bowl season, the Ravens gave up a combined 82 points during the fourth quarter. A year later, the Ravens allowed a franchise-worst 134 points in the fourth quarter.

The difference in 2013 was seven new starters and the loss of veteran leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

"I think we’ll be able to get to that [level of confidence] because it was a new mixture of guys … so they had to get the cohesiveness going," Newsome said. "You have to get to the point where you feel like you can make that play and get the defense off the field.”