At First Glance: Ravens at Titans

BaltimoreRavens.com writers give their first impressions of the Ravens’ 26-13 loss.

Posted by BR.com on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, At First Glance, Mike Duffy, Ryan Mink, Sarah Ellison, Week 2 at Titans

John Eisenberg: The Ravens were as poor in this one as they were sharp against the Steelers a week ago. The offense sputtered badly. The line got whipped. Joe Flacco never had time to get into a rhythm, didn’t have many open targets to throw to, and hurt himself with a pair of bad reads that led to interceptions. The running game was stuffed, no factor at all. Defensively, Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck picked them apart, targeting Cary Williams in particular while he beat Baltimore blitzes all day. The Ravens did a nice job of limiting Chris Johnson but had no answer for Kenny Britt. The Ravens have a nice record under John Harbaugh when they’re favored, but they were badly beaten in this one by a Tennessee team that probably won’t make the playoffs.

Mike Duffy: One week after looking so impressive against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens didn’t show much of the magic that was evident in their season opener.  Matt Hasselbeck was a sniper with ample time to throw, the Ravens’ offense had trouble moving the ball and turnovers were killer.  When the Ravens needed it most, they could only muster a fourth-quarter field goal from Billy Cundiff in the second half, while the Titans logged 16 points after halftime. The Ravens’ run defense was stingy as always, making Chris Johnson look pedestrian, but even though the Titans were one-dimensional, their banged-up secondary was burned for 358 passing yards.

Ryan Mink: What went so well against Pittsburgh didn’t transfer to Tennessee. The Ravens said this week that everything just clicked against the Steelers. It didn’t click against the Titans. The Ravens’ run game never got going behind an offensive line without starting left guard Ben Grubbs. Joe Flacco was on the run for much of the afternoon, which played its part in a tough day for the Ravens’ quarterback. On defense, Baltimore’s pass rush didn’t get to Matt Hasselbeck. That didn’t help out the pass coverage, which was hurt by the deep ball to Titans wide receivers Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Factor in a loud LP Field in part due to the home opener and it was a recipe for a loss reminiscent of last year, when the Ravens knocked off the Jets in Week 1 and fizzled the next week in Cincinnati. The Ravens said it last week after a momentous win and will say the same again: it’s a long season.

Sarah Ellison: The Ravens were looking for an encore to last week’s emotional smack down, but couldn’t carry the momentum into Week 2. Against the Steelers, one of the things the Ravens had going for them was a quick tempo on offense. Other than a seven-play, 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, the unit just couldn’t find a sustained rhythm. The Titans were successful in pressuring Joe Flacco while blanketing receivers and stopping the run game. The first two weeks of the 2011 season feels a lot like the first two weeks of 2010 when the Ravens had an emotional win against the Jets in the season opener, but lost a close 15-10 matchup to the Bengals. There’s a lot of football left to play.

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