The Baltimore Ravens played in front of a home crowd for the first time since winning the Super Bowl in January. While they beat the Atlanta Falcons 27-23, they left a sour taste in the mouths of Ravens Nation with many unanswered questions on the table.
The first team offense and defense were outplayed in the first half; they left the field after playing the “worst half of football” head coach John Harbaugh had ever seen. The only shining moment of the first half was wide receiver Torrey Smith’s 77-yard touchdown.
“That’s about as bad as we can play,” Harbaugh said as he headed for the tunnel. “That’s the worst half of football, I don’t think I can say ever, but I can’t think of one.”
Thankfully the second half was a different story; the second and third teams got the job done to win the game.
Coach Harbaugh said that football fundamentals were the problem with the starters. He believes that they were overly excited to play in front of the home crowd, he remains optimistic that the problems can be fixed:
“The good news is, those are things you can correct overnight,” Harbaugh said. “Doesn’t take much to correct those things. But it has to get done if we’re going to be the team that we hope to be.”
Ravens Nation flipped out watching the game. It was rather amusing reading their reactions on Twitter. I thought some fans were going to jump off the bridge.
After losing many starters this offseason, it will take some time for the “new” Ravens to gel. So far the most promising part of the team is the defense. While the front line is coming together, the secondary has room for improvement, nothing new to the Ravens.
The offense is a different story. Quarterback Joe Flacco lost many targets due to trade and/or injury and it will take time to adapt to the new players. So far the only wide out he has is Torrey Smith. The verdict is still out on the No. 2 and 3 receivers and tight ends.
Now is the time to stink and make mistakes. No team is perfect in the preseason, not even the reigning Super Bowl champions. They have a lot of work to do, but I trust the powers that be will find answers to their questions before September 5.
Thankfully the Ravens did not suffer any serious injuries during the game. Winning doesn’t matter in preseason games, staying healthy does.