Matt Elam leads NFL defensive backs in missed tackles

The rough season for Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam continued Sunday, when he missed five tackles in a 27-24 loss in Cincinnati.

It began on the fourth play of the game when Elam took a bad pursuit angle and whiffed on wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who went on to run for an additional 20 yards to finish off a 48-yard catch.

Elam has now missed 12 tackles this season, which is tied with New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro for most by an NFL defensive back. Elam's missed tackles are five more than any other Ravens player.

His best play came in the middle of the fourth quarter, when he ripped the ball away from Sanu to force a turnover. The Ravens converted it into a field goal to extend the Ravens' lead to 24-20.

When asked about Elam, coach John Harbaugh focused on the positives.

"He competed. He fought, and he did his best," Harbaugh said. "[He] made a great play on the strip to get the turnover, which gave us a chance to win the game. Going to that point, it speaks a lot of our guys what we accomplish down the stretch. If you want to look for something, look for that."

Harbaugh added, "Do they all need to get better? Absolutely. Every one of our players needs to play better. Every one of our coaches needs to coach better, starting with me. We have to find a way to win the game. So, if you’re looking for me to disparage a player in a press conference, I’m not going down that road.”

Elam, a 2013 first-round pick, played a career-low 22 snaps (33 percent of the defensive snaps) two weeks ago but was on the field for 66 plays (97 percent) on Sunday.

He is the second-lowest rated safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Only Washington's Ryan Clark is rated lower.