Ravens Beat Browns, Fix Offense

Boldin Owned Eric Wright For 3 Scores

By Jesse Jones

Seven turnovers, two straight games with 10 points, a four-interception performance by Joe Flacco.  These were perfect ways to describe the Baltimore Ravens offense after the first two games.  Yesterday against the Cleveland Browns in the home opener, this all changed.

Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin combined for three touchdowns, and eight overall completions for 142 yards.  Overall, Flacco completed passes to six different receivers and went 22-31 for 262 yards, had three touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 128.7.  Ray Rice carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards, and Willis McGahee carried 7 times for 29 yards.

Not all was well with the Ravens though.  The run defense, yes the run defense, was shaky.  Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards and had a touchdown.  This performance is definitely a surprise to many, as Hillis is the backup running back for the Browns and the Ravens have had one of the best run defenses this decade.  The tackling was very poor and Hillis was running through the holes like a tank.  Much respect should be given to Hillis for his performance and effort.

The Ravens also finally allowed a touchdown, two for that matter, after not allowing any against the Jets and Bengals.  It is strange to say that the offense out-shined the defense, but that was the case yesterday.  The offense scored 24 points, and the defense allowed 17.  In the end, Baltimore played well enough to win, and improved to 2-1 (1-1 in the division) to stay at pace with the Bengals (2-1) and the Steelers (3-0).

There were two injuries reported for the Baltimore Ravens, and both are starters.  Cory Redding suffered a concussion and the extent of the injury is unknown.  What is much worse is that Ray Rice has a contusion on his knee.  His status for this weekend is up in the air, but after hearing from him, signs are pointing to him playing.  It’d be surprising to see him miss this weekend’s matchup against the team’s biggest rival.

Look for Ray Rice to get the run defense back to where it should be against the Steelers Sunday, and look to see how the offense holds up against one of the league’s best defenses year-in and year-out.

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September 2010
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