SAN JOSE – The Ravens need to put Week 1 behind them as quickly as possible. It was ugly. Losing a 19-13 decision to the Broncos due to mistakes and missed opportunities. Losing linebacker Terrell Suggs for the season.
Upon further review, here are three offensive concerns for the Ravens, as they spend a week practicing and preparing in San Jose, before their Week 2 game against the Raiders:
1. The wide receiver position is a major issue.
Which wide receivers stepped up Sunday? That’s easy. Nobody did. Marlon Brown and Steve Smith had two catches. Smith let a potential game-winning touchdown pass slip through his hands during the final minute Michael Campanaro and Kamar Aiken had one catch. Darren Waller had no catches. If this is what the wide receiver production is going to look like until Breshad Perriman (knee) gets healthy, the Ravens’ offense is going to struggle.
2. Joe Flacco has to play better
The Ravens are only going as far as their quarterback leads them. Flacco’s numbers Sunday were brutal – 18 for 32, 117 yards, two interceptions, 13.1 quarterback rating. Flacco got hit too much against the Broncos, 17 times. His wide receivers didn’t help him enough. But the pick-six Flacco threw Sunday was a momentum-changer the Ravens never overcame. Even if Smith did not run the route properly, the onus is on Flacco as the franchise quarterback, both to avoid big mistakes, and to overcome them. On Sunday, he did neither.
3. The offensive line was outplayed.
Left tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion) missed all but the first series Sunday. James Hurst replaced Monroe, and was beaten badly at times by DeMarcus Ware.
Meanwhile, running lanes for Justin Forsett (43 yards) were few and far between. The Ravens expect their offensive line to be a strong point this season. If it’s not, the Ravens won’t be able to run or throw it consistently.
The defense didn’t allow a touchdown Sunday, and held Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (24-for-40, 175 yards, one interception) in check. But for the Ravens to win consistently, their offense will have to be far more consistent.
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