Mon Dec 06 12:57pm EST
Derrick Mason(notes) wasn't pleased with the performance of the Baltimore Ravens offense on Sunday night and he let reporters know it. The 36-year-old wide receiver was the last player to leave the locker room after the team's 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and he chose his words carefully as he ripped the offense for an underachieving effort.
I started to cut the quotes down, but soon realized I was taking out too many good ones. As such, I've left all the quotes printed in Monday's edition of The Baltimore Sun in tact. Read the whole thing. It's a powerful soliloquy and the rare NFL rant that doesn't point fingers or turn into a self-referential rant about playing time:
"It's sad to say, but we're just not a good offense at times. We really aren't. For whatever reason it is, I don't know. But we're not a good offense at times. I'm not pointing any fingers at anybody because I'm part of the equation, but we're just not a good offense at times.
"I might get crucified for this one, but with all these people we've got on offense? We're not a good offense at times. Just call it how you see it. Call a spade a spade. If we were a good offense, we'd move the ball up and down the field. Especially with the people we have and the quarterback and the personnel we have. But we're just not a good offense at times ... We look like the Bad News Bears at times. And I'm a part of it.
"We've just got to come to a point where it's stop all the [stuff] and play football. Put some points on the board and not allow teams to come back in the second half, not put the pressure on our defense to have to stop somebody in the last second of the game. Just [put] some points on the board and move forward.
"I'm tired of playing tough games. Let's just go blow somebody out. We're capable of doing it and we just don't do it. I don't know what it is. Nobody says we shouldn't be able to put up 30 points against a good team. We're not a good offense at times. I know it gets frustrating for (the defense). It has to. I can see their faces coming off the sideline. They have to get frustrated. We can't put [our] defense in that situation.
"You wonder why you come back and play after stuff like this. Pittsburgh is a good team, but there is honestly no way we should have lost this game. This makes me wonder personally why I even came back. It hurts worse than any other game."
Mason isn't lying; the Ravens offense isn't very good at times. Baltimore almost never separates from teams, regardless of how good it is. Even the Ravens' 37-14 win over the 1-11 Carolina Panthers, their biggest margin of victory this year, was relatively close until the defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
But Mason's also a tad melodramatic about the Pittsburgh loss. It wasn't like he and the offense went out and put a 10-spot against Little Sisters of the Poor. They did it against the best defense in the league.
Though I'm sure this loss hurt, the Ravens are still in prime position to make the playoffs and aren't yet dead in the AFC North race either. And, come on Derrick, did a regular-season defeat really hurt worse than the 2000 Super Bowl in which your team came within three feet of going to overtime?
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