The defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens kicked off the 2013 season in Denver with a 49-27 loss to the Broncos.
The painful loss was a comedy of errors. First they couldn’t play the game at home due to a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles and then the game began 33 minutes late after a lightening delay.
The Ravens had a 17-14 lead at half time, but the wheels fell off in the second half and they failed to put wagon back together.
Unfortunately the injury bug struck again. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones left the game with a sprained right knee and left tackle Michael Oher sprained his ankle; neither returned to the field. Jones will miss 4-6 weeks, no update on Oher this week.
The Ravens felt the pain of losing tight end Dennis Pitta for the season due to injury. Their efforts to replace them fell short when tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson failed to complete passes or dropped them.
After an exciting off season celebrating the Super Bowl win, the painful loss was a disappointing way to start the new season.
The Ravens know what they need to fix, but how will they do it? The Ravens have an experienced coaching staff and talented players and I have every reason to believe that they will find a way to fix the wagon.
The secondary struggled and left Bronco receivers wide open who ultimately scored touchdowns due to the Ravens carelessness in the backfield.
The offense needs to run the ball. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw a career-high 62 passes in the game. His previous high was 52 in a 2011 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. I “get” why they threw so much, but it didn’t work. The Ravens have talented and capable running backs, the receivers and tight ends struggled, it’s not rocket science.
One bright spot in the loss was rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown. The undrafted receiver was thrown into the fire when Jones sprained his ankle and left the game. Brown had an impressive debut with four catches for 65 yards and a 13-yard touchdown.
A football season is a marathon not a sprint. We have been spoiled. The Ravens hadn’t lost a season opener under head coach John Harbaugh and Flacco until Thursday night.
It sucked losing that game, but the loss isn’t the end of the world. Linebacker Terrell Suggs isn’t concerned, after the game he told reporters:
“All this game tells us is that we aren’t going to go 16-0,” Suggs said. “And I think the whole world knew that going in.”
If nothing else, the Ravens are experienced in facing uphill battles and with an extended time off until their week 2 game against the Cleveland Browns, I have faith that the powers that be will create a game plan that produces results.