BALTIMORE – So much for the Ravens (1-2) bouncing back from a loss. After the Ravens jumped to a 13-0 lead, the Redskins ran off 31 straight points and cruised to a 31-13 victory Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, Here are five instant Ravens takeaways:
1. The Ravens should be worried about their defensive depth.
Things went downhill for the Ravens, after most of the starters departed with the Ravens still leading. 13-7. The pass defense was particularly bad, as Redskins receivers ran free in the secondary. Granted, Ravens top cornerback Jimmy Smith was solid before leaving the game, and veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) didn’t play. But Ravens rookie cornerback Tray Walker had a rough night. Walker missed a tackle that led to one touchdown, and Walker was beaten badly in the end zone for another score. The Ravens aren’t showing all the looks they’ll show once the regular season starts. But remember, the Ravens will face Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in Week 1. He threw seven TD passes against the Ravens the last time he faced them. If the Ravens’ pass defense isn’t tight, they’re subject to get picked apart by Manning again.
2. How badly is DT Timmy Jernigan (knee) hurt?
Jernigan left in the first quarter and never returned. The Ravens are expecting big things from him as a starter, but that will only happen if Jernigan is healthy.
3. The offensive line continues to suffer injuries.
Ryan Jensen (concussion) became another injured player on a unit that has been banged up. Jensen started at left tackle in place of Eugene Monroe (bruised forearm). Left guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles) didn’t play either. Coach John Harbaugh has said Monroe will be ready for Week 1, but the starting offensive line has not spent as much practice and game time together as the Ravens would like.
4. Cornerback Asa Jackson may be the frontrunner for the kick returner job, but will he return punts?
Jackson had a 103-yard kickoff return, before being dragged down at the Redskins’ two-yard line. However, Jackson also made a bad play, fumbling away a punt return in the fourth quarter, when he should have signaled for a fair catch. Jackson was popped as soon as he made the catch and coughed up the football. With wide receiver Michael Campanaro (soft tissue injury) not healthy, the Ravens are still trying to settle on returners for both punts and kicks. Jackson could clearly be part of the mix, but the Ravens may not have seen enough yet to make a decision.
5. At least the Ravens’ first-team offense looked sharp.
The Ravens scored on their first three drives, all with Joe Flacco (8 for 13, 137 yards, one touchdown) at quarterback. Wide receiver Steve Smith (four catches, 95 yards), looked to be in midseason form before he was ejected for a skirmish with Redskins cornerback Chris Culliver. The first team offense moving the football was the biggest positive the Ravens can take from this showing.