If this is life after Terrell Suggs, then the Ravens and their 2015 season are in far more serious trouble than previously thought.
The Ravens minus Suggs generated virtually no pass rush against Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who carved up the Ravens to the tune of 351 passing yards and three touchdowns en route to a 37-33 Oakland win on Sunday that sends the Ravens to an 0-2 start for the first time in the John Harbaugh era.
And if Carr -- who left last week's game with a hand injury -- can shred the Ravens defense that way, is there any reason that Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and others on the 2015 schedule cannot?
Suggs' season-ending Achilles injury was sure to be a game-changer for the Ravens, but his absence at Oakland proved to be staggering.
The Ravens decided against activating newly-signed pass rusher Jason Babin, so much of the edge rushing responsibility at Oakland fell on Courtney Upshaw, rookie Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan.
But none of them was able to generate much heat on Carr. Elvis Dumervil, now tasked to be more of a three-down linebacker with Suggs out, had one quarterback hit. Technically, the Ravens were credited with one sack, for no yards, by Jimmy Smith. But in fact, pressure was virtually nonexistent all day.
Sometimes, Carr created time by rolling out of the pocket on bootlegs, as he did on a 21-yard pass to Andre Holmes that set up a Raiders touchdown.
"You gotta bring pressure off the edge to get in the quarterback's face on those (bootlegs)," Harbaugh said. "We never were able to do that."
But plenty of times Carr just dropped back, went patiently through a progression of receivers until he found one. Give any NFL quarterback enough time, and he will find his target.
Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan did get to Carr -- about two seconds too late, drawing a big roughing-the-passer penalty on what proved to be the Raiders game-winning drive.
The Ravens and defensive coordinator Dean Pees have to go back to the drawing board, and quick. They probably need to dial up more blitzes, because the three-man pass rush was completely ineffective. They have already gone out and signed Babin. Now they need the players they have to do the job better.
"We have to face the reality as a football team that we're not playing well enough to win right now," said defensive lineman Chris Canty, who had no tackles. "We've got to fix it. We've got to get better in a hurry."
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