Ravens off to a rough start against Falcons

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In the time of year that demands conditional criticism and praise, the Ravens have the ultimate benefit of the doubt — a Lombardi Trophy.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no reason for concern.

The Ravens managed just 131 yards and three first downs in the first half, and that included a 77-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith. They didn’t run the ball well against a Falcons defense which wasn’t supposed to be stout, and Flacco also threw an interception that turned into easy points. They also surrendered 20 points in the half to the Falcons, but a lot of people are going to do that this year.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told WBAL (via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun) at halftime: “That’s about as bad as we can play.”

While that might be a little much, they do have some issues on offense. In addition to looking for a reliable second receiver, they’re also holding a competition for a starting center, with A.Q. Shipley opening the game tonight (as opposed to Gino Gradkowski). Coupled with all their tight ends being hurt, they have a lot of questions to answer, and two more weeks of preseason to answer them.

32 responses to “Ravens off to a rough start against Falcons

  1. You shouldn’t read too much into preseason games, as they only say so much about your team. Regardless of how bad they played today, I genuinely believe that the Ravens will fail to make the playoffs this season. Sorry B-more, but you guys will be hanging your hats on last year’s Super Bowl win for quite a while…

  2. On the bright side, Dumervil looks as good as advertised. Talk about a burst of speed and power. The offense is just having a bad night.


  4. Oh and Jimmy Smith better pick it up when these games count or he’ll be dangerously close to first round bust territory. He doesn’t do much right, and Matt Ryan picked on him his entire time in there.

  5. so about that “dominant defense” comment Flacco, my guess is your offense just got worse… 20+ mil/year $$$$$$

  6. They were a top 10 last year that got hot at the right time and got some luck. Not taking anything away from that. But now the team is decimated. They may make the playoffs, but it’s no gimme.

  7. Oh lawdy, oh lawdy! Blow it up in pre-season, will ya! The defending champions have a bunch of new players and it will take some time to gel it together, but they will. The Ravens will be as formidable as they always are; a team that can beat any team, any time.

  8. Flacco’s INT was a deflection off Jones’ helmet… Not worried about Flacco or the offense. Yanda isn’t even back yet, which is becoming a glaring weakness.

    The real story was the defense… Outside of Jimmy Smith, they look absolutely loaded. Jimmy Smith was the target of 7 of Matt Ryan’s 8 completions for over 78 yards. Once Webb gets back and puts Jimmy on the sideline this defense is going to dominate. Daryl Smith is a BEAST… ‘Best player on the field and a BRILLIANT purchase by Ozzie… And we’re going to have possibly the best front 7 in football, and undoubtedly the deepest. This defense is shaping up to be something special.

  9. Gino Gradkowski won the center job by standing on the sidelines the entire first half, Shipley was that bad and Gradkowski had no such flub ups in the first game. Position battle settled, hahaha

  10. 270 first half yards on that vaunted defense. What did I tell you…?

    And that offemse had 3 1st downs in the 1st half. LOL

    “That was the worst half of football that I’ve ever seen.” – John Harbaugh.

    Denver is going to unleash the Kracken week 1.

  11. Its pre-season, but they looked flat. I think that back end will struggle mightily, and Jimmy Smith smdh dude cant make a play to save his life.

  12. The Ravens cant have any questions, Oz is the GM, so all he has to do is wave his magical wand and another Pro Bowl player appears!

    Of course the running game isnt going to work when the defense is stacking the box daring Flacco to throw the ball.

    Seriously? A defense that gave up 20 points before halftime?

    The Super Bowl hang over has begun. Going to be a LONG season in Baltimore!

    Lets see how quick I can to 100 Thumbs Down!

  13. Figures i miss the first 3 quarters and turn the game on to see T Taylor toss a TD pass in the 4th when they started doing well with all the kids trying to make the team.

    I know the 1st team offense still doesn’t have yanda playing but they better get it together soon.

  14. Well this is what the preseason is for. The second round pick looked good at middle linebacker, so did the veteren from Jacksonville. Bynes made some poor choices as a starter at middle linebacker. I really hope he does not make the starting rotation. Upshaw is clearly a big step down from the starters I do not think he is ready to be a back up in the NFL. Smith is just not ready yet he should not be a starter or a nickle or dime back right now. It is only the preseaon so it is good to have problems now rather than the season. That said Thursday was really hard to watch. I hope they have a good rest of training camp, they have a lot to work on.

  15. Despite spotty play, Ravens still won the game because they are WINNERS. Unlike the Steelers, they don’t dwell on stats and try to fluff up a dismal 8-8 season.

  16. The Ravens only have 2 weeks to get this machine tuned up. I know they will, but I would expect better at this pont.

  17. Yeah they didn’t look good. But I think they learned a lot more about who should be playing. They needed to be knocked down. The problems are coachable problems so its not time to push the panic button.

  18. Last week Ravens fans gloated about how good the team looked. This week Ravens fans will say “it is only preason.” Typical.
    Still, I do not know why people keep saying that the Ravens are not going to make the playoffs. They still are a good team and the AFC is a pool of mediocre teams. Besides the Broncos, Patriots and Bengals, who else is there? And even those teams have question marks right now.

  19. They did look bad but on the upside they learned a little more about who should be playing and who shouldn’t. (e.g., Center position is settled, Yanda and Webb are required). Elam looked good, some real hits, might be moving up to starter and A. Brown started ballin’ a little better than the first game too.

    The problems are coachable. They needed to get spanked to give them desire. Like Suggs said, a little humble pie. Everyone who thinks it is funny just realize this means everyone – coaches, players, and water boys will be stepping it up several levels now.

  20. nattypoes says:

    The real story was the defense… Outside of Jimmy Smith, they look absolutely loaded. Jimmy Smith was the target of 7 of Matt Ryan’s 8 completions for over 78 yards. Once Webb gets back and puts Jimmy on the sideline this defense is going to dominate.


    Are you saying the Great and Wonderful OZ actually missed on a 1st round pick?

    HOW DARE YOU!!!! You could be banished from Baltimore for such sacrilege!

  21. Harbaugh has the players on the bench with receiver Aaron Mellete who has two TD’s already in two games and a couple PI calls going his way, Jones is responsible for two INTs so far. Shiancoe dropped everything he saw yet Matt Furstenburg grabbed everything in his area code. While Flacco can’t find receivers, Juszczyk looked more like Pitta than Pitta does. Bynes missed tackle after tackle yet Arthur Brown was dead on his shots and while Ihedigbo was getting penalties, Matt Elam had 6 tackles and slammed Steven Jackson to the ground. So at some point in time after he gets tired of losing, these guys will play and they will win.

  22. This team may go 11-5 or 10-6 and still make the playoffs as a wild card. I can see them losing a few games to start the season; maybe 2-2 or 3-2. But if they gel, and they are good enough to get it….look out. I don’t care who your team is, do you really want the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs? Seriously?! They’ve done nothing but dismantle people over the last few years, and the entire time you people that know not of what you speak have been talking trash. Ravens fans know about all the trash and disrepect. C’mon, have a little class and give the coaching staff some kudos: they get these guys together, get better throughout the season, and flat out kick butt in January.

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