Now that Baltimore Ravens fans have had a chance to digest Thursday night’s 49-27 loss against the Denver Broncos, it’s time to break down what the team did well, what they need to do to get ready for Week 2.
Unfortunately, Ravens fans no longer have the luxury of watching the 2000 Ravens’ defense out on the field every week. The current Ravens defense didn’t exactly put on the best performance on Thursday night, allowing Peyton Manning to tie an NFL record of seven touchdown passes in a single game.
Despite the team’s problems as a collective defensive unit, there were a few glimmers of hope throughout the night.
Although cornerback Lardarius Webb was sidelined for majority of last season with a torn ACL, he was as explosive as ever. Webb seemed to have zero limitations on his game and only allowed one completion on his coverage. He was also on the field for 62 of 71 total plays on defense.
The Terrell Suggs/ Elvis Dumervil tandem was also looking strong. Suggs and Dumervil tallied a sack each and proved their proficiency on the pass rush when Dumervil hurried a few passes from Manning. While one sack each does not seem like much for the veteran linebackers, working well together Week 1 only previews the potential for the rest of the season.
The Ravens’ offense did not prove to be playing in congruence throughout the course of the game, with plenty of dropped passes, short runs, and failed opportunities. But it didn’t seem like anything a little fine-tuning couldn’t fix.
First and foremost, the team needs to focus on the run game. Running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce carried the ball for a combined total of only 58 yards on the night.
As for the tight end situation, Dallas Clark proved to be more dependable against the Broncos than Ed Dickson. Dickson only caught one ball for 13 yards, while Clark snagged seven passes for a total of 87 yards on the night. Both, however, suffered from drops.
Marlon Brown was the star on the Ravens offense in Denver. The undrafted rookie wide receiver stepped in for Jacoby Jones after he sustained an injury after a collision with his own teammate while waiving for a fair-catch after a Broncos punt. Brown had 4 catches for 65 yards, one of which was a 13-yard touchdown reception in his first NFL game.