The Baltimore Ravens 34-31 win last night over the Washington Redskins shined a light on the teams biggest problems: the communication errors in the secondary, the makeshift offensive line and a team still in search for an identity three games into the preseason.
In the first quarter, before the Ravens could even blink, they were looking up at the scoreboard, which read 14-0 Redskins. The Ravens offense was dismal, they failed to convert a single third down and gained just 59 yards of total offense.
Here’s what Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron had to say on the offenses slow start:
“We came back after a slow start… We can’t have those kinds of starts in the regular season, but we did work to rally back.”
Joe Flacco certainly had his ups and downs in this one. The 26-year-old left the game midway through the third quarter, and was replaced by rookie Tyrod Taylor after completing 17-27 for 219 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception— that interception would result in a pick six by DeAngelo Williams.
The Joe Flacco and Lee Evans connection was at it again, as Flacco and Evans hooked up three times for 60 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter to tie the game at 14. Through four quarters of action, Flacco and Evans appear to be in sync, connecting six times for 128 yards.
Defensively, the Ravens were hurt by the big play all-night.
In the first quarter, former Raven John Beck completed a 33-yard pass to Anthony Allen, who freed himself behind corner Domonique Foxworth.
Just two plays later, running back Tim Hightower galloped 37 yards through the defense en route to the endzone.
Haloti Ngata had this to say about the defensive miscues:
“There wasn’t any miscommunication there. It was just more of the D-line getting cut down. Really, we’ve got to stay on our feet… But, I think we did better as the game went on. Hopefully, we can get rid of those mistakes and keep our progression going.”
Before the two teams would head into the locker room for half time, the Redskins would answer with a touchdown of their own, as Rex Grossman connected with Santana Moss on a 24-yard touchdown pass. Rookie first-round cornerback Jimmy Smith appeared to blow the coverage on a 3rd-and-14 play as Moss slipped right behind Smith for the score.
To open up the third quarter, the Ravens wasted no time re-tying the game, as Flacco touched a 12-yard bullet past two lines of Redskins defense to find Boldin in the end zone, knotting the score at 21.
Tyrod Taylor made his case to be this team’s No. 2 QB, amassing 120 yards by completing 11 of 18 passes, the biggest which might have been a 9-yard pass to Brandon Jones for the game-winning score.
Being that it was the teams third preseason game, it was a contest for the Ravens first teams, as it was the most-in-depth dress rehearsal the units got all preseason.
Winning is always important and the ultimate goal, but the fact that the Ravens showed a “never say die” attitude and continued to fight back all game was the most important.