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No-huddle comes to a screeching halt


No-huddle comes to a screeching halt

Needing to call on their quick-strike offense to bail them out of a jam, the no-huddle stalled on the Ravens.

Part of the reason is because they abandoned a running game that appeared lethal in the first half.

Joe Flacco only completed 22 of 42 passes for 232 yards as they blew a 10-point halftime lead to the Philadelphia Eagles, regained the lead and then lost it in the final two minutes when Michael Vick scored the game-winning touchdown for a 24-23 victory.

"They did a good job all day of just coming up there and putting enough guys in the box and putting pressure on our receivers," Flacco said. "They've got two good corners that it's tough to consistently do a lot of damage on those guys, and they've got a good pass rush up front. So we have to get the ball out of our hands quickly."

Flacco looked hurried, and his accuracy suffered. He was sacked twice.

The Ravens forced four turnovers, taking the ball away from the Eagles three of those times when they'd marched in to Baltimore's territory. But the offense never found a rhythm, particularly on third downs as it went 1-for-9 until making a few clutch plays late in the fourth quarter to improve the final tally to 4-for-14.

The Eagles ran their own no-huddle offense, and it was more effective down the stretch. Vick drove them 80 yards in 10 plays in just less than three minutes. He ran the ball in from one yard out for the final score.

Ray Rice appeared frustrated at not just the outcome, but how he was used in offensive coordinator Cam Camerons scheme.

Rice, who had only 10 carries for 68 yards last week in a 44-13 thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals, had seven for 78 yards in the first half.

In the second half, he had just nine carries for 21 yards. But instead of talking about himself, he lobbied on behalf of fullback Vonta Leach.

Im not the play-caller. I just do what Im asked to do when my name is called. There were sometimes that we were third and short and I would have loved to see our fullback get some more calls, Rice said of Leach, who had just one carry for five yards when he scored the Ravens first touchdown.

The fact is, in what would normally be run situations, the Ravens passed unsuccessfully:

-- On their first possession of the third quarter, the Ravens passed on third-and-2 and it was intercepted by DeMeco Ryans
-- Later in the quarter on third-and-2, Flaccos pass to tight end Ed Dickson was incomplete
-- On the next possession, Flacco threw incomplete to Anquan Boldin on third-and-1
-- On their final possession of the game, Flacco threw incomplete on third-and-1 to Dennis Pitta and then on fourth down to Rice. Coach John Harbaugh faced questions of why he didnt run the ball on the last two plays, and he'll probably face them all week leading into next Sunday's home game vs. the New England Patriots.

We ran the ball a lot in the second half, Harbaugh said, even though his team had only 10 rushes in the first half and 11 in the second. The last two plays of the game. ... We thought about running the ball, yeah, but we thought we had some good calls. You could have called a draw or something there, but you know they were bringing some heat and they were hugging the backs, too

We tried some draws, we tried some traps and even some passing situations, some second and longs, and we werent hitting that stuff either.

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Ravens not counting on having LB C.J. Mosley vs. Broncos on Sunday

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Ravens not counting on having LB C.J. Mosley vs. Broncos on Sunday

BALTIMORE -- Coming off a long weekend following their first loss of the season, the Baltimore Ravens have implemented a contingency plan for moving forward without three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Mosley bruised his left knee Thursday night in a 34-23 defeat at Cincinnati. Although the fifth-year standout receives a few extra days to recover, it's unlikely he will ready for Sunday's game against unbeaten Denver.

"It isn't a structural issue. That's good news," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "We'll just see how that thing comes along and keep our fingers crossed."

Rookie linebacker Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor played the position after Mosley left in the first quarter. Though the Ravens tightened up defensively in the second half, they yielded touchdowns on four straight series after Mosley's departure.

"It definitely seemed like things were a little bit scrambled when you lose a guy like that," cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. "Just him being out there makes everything smoother."

To help fill the void, the Ravens on Monday signed Albert McClellan , who played six years for Baltimore before being cut on Sept. 1.

McClellan missed all of last year with a knee injury but has 90 games of NFL experience, all with the Ravens.

"Albert is a very good football player. He knows everything we do," Harbaugh said. "He gives us a lot on special teams and can play middle linebacker. I would say he kind of solidifies in there a little bit, having so many young players in the group."

To make room for McClellan, the Ravens placed cornerback Maurice Canady on injured reserve with a thigh injury. Harbaugh said it's not a season-ending injury, and it's possible that Canady could return later in the season.

Mosley led the Ravens last year with a career-high 132 tackles and is in charge of calling the plays on defense. That role has been handed to safety Eric Weddle.

Young appears in position to make his first NFL start. Selected out of UCLA in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the 23-year-old Young made a favorable impression before his making seven tackles last week in Cincinnati.

"He's going a great job. We're real happy with him," Harbaugh said. "He's very smart, very studious, very conscientious. I think his learning curb is steep."

After beating Buffalo 47-3 in the opener, the Ravens (1-1) took a huge step back last week. The Bengals led 28-7 in the second quarter and cruised to the finish.

Following a short week, the Ravens enjoyed a rare weekend that did not involve playing football.

"Yeah, that's valuable to have that, as far as recovery and things like that, and study," Harbaugh said.

It also provided the team some extra time to get over the Cincinnati game.

"You just can't beat yourself up too much because if you do, that just takes you in a downward path," Harbaugh said. "What it's going to boil down to in the end is, who's mentally tougher over the long haul? You've got to keep grinding."

There are plenty of unbeaten teams remaining, including the Broncos, but Harbaugh believes it's way too early to start identifying the best clubs in the league.

"Nobody in the NFL is a good football team yet," he said. "It remains to be seen who the good football teams are, and that's what we've got to try to become."

Harbaugh said tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) and defensive tackle Willie Henry (abdomen) won't practice this week.


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Ravens Week 2 Player of the Game: WR John Brown


Ravens Week 2 Player of the Game: WR John Brown

Coming off a strong Week 1 performance, the Ravens marched into Cincinnati for Week 2 and put up a dud.

The defense struggled immediately without C.J. Mosley, and Joe Flacco and the offense saw their share of unfortunate turnovers. 

While there was much to be concerned about in their 34-23 loss, one Raven that brought a high to a mainly low night was offseason addition John Brown.

Brown's night was highlighted by an insane 21-yard touchdown that put the Ravens within five in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Flacco connected with the wide receiver for a 45-yard completion on third down. 'Smoke' also drew a 30-yard penalty that helped set up a touchdown, finishing his night with four catches for 92 yards.

The connection between Flacco and Brown was apparent throughout training camp, and in two games, the 28-year-old has become a trusted target. He currently leads the Ravens with 136 yards and two touchdowns and his 19.43-yard average is well above his fellow receivers. The speed he possess makes it difficult for defenses to keep up, and if Brown can stay healthy, he could be the consistent deep-threat the team's been looking for for years. 

 “I’m satisfied, and I did pretty good," Brown said after the Ravens' Week 1 win. "But it doesn’t stop right here.”