Not only did the Ravens miss out on the playoffs in 2021, they finished dead last in the AFC North. They won back-to-back division titles from 2018-19 but finished in last place this time around.
Of course, it didn’t help that the Ravens’ defense got clobbered by Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The Cincinnati Bengals scored 41 points on the Ravens not once but twice this year.
It’s clear that Martindale was never a fan of Burrow. Before their second game, Martindale implied that he wouldn’t double-team Chase, and that he didn’t see the Burrow-Chase tandem as a serious threat.
Chase had over 100 receiving yards that day, Burrow broke the Bengals’ single-game passing record with 525 yards. That was the fourth-highest single-game total in NFL history.
Mind you, this comment was after Chase burned Ravens defenders to the tune of 201 yards in their previous matchup.
Martindale has never been much of a Bengals fan. In 2020, Martindale expressed anger when the Bengals kicked a field goal to break the Ravens’ shutout in the last minute of the game. The Ravens ended up winning 27-3, so the field goal had absolutely zero impact on the result.
It was only for the Bengals’ own pride, and apparently, to wound Martindale’s.
In the last two games Martindale called plays in the Bengals-Ravens series, the Bengals scored 82 points, passed for over 1,000 yards, and rushed for 188.
With Burrow becoming the up-and-coming star in the AFC North, the Ravens need a way to stop him. Martindale was not it.