By and large, the Baltimore Ravens came up big defensively in Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints. That said, the effort — or lack thereof — specifically from defensive backs Marcus Peters and Chuck Clark, is hard to ignore.
The Ravens led the Saints 27-6 late in the fourth quarter. Garbage-time touchdowns aren’t uncommon at this time of the game. But those usually occur when a trailing offense takes advantage of either a prevent defense or bench players finally seeing the field. That wasn’t what happened here.
New Orleans’ Juwan Johnson caught a pass near the sideline and Peters made what appeared to be a half-hearted attempt to get Johnson either down or out of bounds. Johnson continued down the sidelines but Clark apparently felt that he had stepped out of bounds. Because with Johnson within his reach and tight-rope walking by the sideline, Clark just pulled up.
As a result, Johnson ran right into the end zone, giving New Orleans its first touchdown of the game.
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 8, 2022
While not as obvious as Peters or Clark, Patrick Queen might have also had a chance to either tackle Johnson or get him out of bounds. But he also stopped running.
Even though it happened in the final minutes of a lopsided game, plenty of people in the NFL world were critical of the Baltimore defenders.
Extremely poor effort by Chuck Clark to not finish the play on that touchdown by Juwan Johnson
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) November 8, 2022
Chuck Clark literally just forgot the age old rule of football.
PLAY TO THE WHISTLE. #RavensFlock
— Nic Mason (@British_Raven19) November 8, 2022
Ravens lead 27-13 after Marcus Peters decides not to tackle.
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) November 8, 2022
For a player who is supposed to be such a cerebral player, Chuck Clark just made one of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen from a #Ravens defender. Play to the whistle FFS!
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) November 8, 2022
What is Marcus Peters doing?! What the hell man. Finish your damn job! This is unexcusable.
— Pedro H. Rhormes (@rhormes_) November 8, 2022
Chuck Clark just let the wide receiver run past, believing he was out of bounds instead of finishing off the play…
— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) November 8, 2022
Fortunately for all of the Ravens involved, it didn’t cost Baltimore the game. Those were the final points scored and the Ravens won the game 27-13. Still, much like Morgan Moses after his mistake from earlier in the game, the film session will be rough for Peters, Clark and Queen when this play is looked at.
[Photo Credit: ESPN]