The Ravens jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter against the Giants on Sunday and they looked like they were on their way to more points when Joe Flacco hit fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a 19-yard gain that brought the Ravens inside the Giants’ 30-yard line.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace was flagged for lining up in an illegal formation, however, and the Ravens had to punt after failing to convert a longer third down try. The story was similar in the second quarter when tight end Crockett Gillmore’s holding penalty and a delay of game call conspired to push the Ravens out of field goal range.
The Giants offense eventually found its footing, mostly by finding Odell Beckham, and won 27-23, but the Ravens might have put things out of reach if they could have stopped drawing flags. There were 15 for 111 yards by the time the game was out, which helped pave the way to a third straight loss.
“Those are drive killers, they’re morale killers,” Wallace said, via the team’s website. “We can’t do that, I can’t do that. Whoever is getting penalties, none of us can do that. There’s no more to say than penalties, that’s what’s killing us.”
John Harbaugh’s decision to pass on a field goal on fourth down from the one-yard-line on the first play of the fourth quarter became a key moment when the Giants stuffed Terrence West for a loss and there were other missed opportunities over the course of the afternoon, but there’s little doubt that fewer penalties would have greatly improved the Ravens’ chances of leaving their first of two straight trips to MetLife Stadium with a win.