Snap judg­ments

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER -

Here’s what the Bal­ti­more Sun staff had to say af­ter the Ravens’ 13-7 win over the Buf­falo Bills on Sun­day:

Jeff Zre­biec, Ravens re­porter: The Ravens’ first-team of­fense was barely on the field to­gether this sum­mer, so you had to ex­pect some rust. You still would have liked to see some more crisp­ness and flow, not to men­tion a big­ger com­mit­ment to the run­ning game. The de­fense, mean­while, ex­ceeded all ex­pec­ta­tions. Dean Pees’ group did a mas­ter­ful job con­tain­ing Ty­rod Tay­lor and keep­ing the ath­letic quar­ter­back in the pocket. The Ravens flew to the ball and had only a few break­downs. The sec­ondary, led by Sha­reece Wright and Eric Wed­dle, played bril­liantly. It’s too early to make any con­clu­sions about the Ravens de­fense, but this was an im­pres­sive first act.

Mark Selig, Ravens ed­i­tor: Can’t com­plain with 1-0, but this was a bad Bills team the Ravens beat. Had the Ravens played a bit bet­ter, the game could have been over in the third quar­ter. The de­fense was stout, aside from al­low­ing a pair of fourth-down con­ver­sions; the of­fense, show­ing lit­tle faith in the run­ning game, failed in sim­i­lar short-yardage sit­u­a­tions. And spe­cial teams were un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally sloppy. The Bills made crit­i­cal er­rors, in­clud­ing a dropped in­ter­cep­tion that would have been a game-chang­ing pick-six. The Ravens can prob­a­bly get away with a C-plus ef­fort again next week in Cleve­land.

Ron Fritz, sports ed­i­tor: As ex­pected, with quar­ter­back Joe Flacco play­ing just a half of pre­sea­son foot­ball, the Ravens of­fense was not in sync or crisp. For­tu­nately, the de­fense was. Time and time again, the dif­fer­ent looks and blitzes the Ravens sent at Tay­lor con­fused him. This early in the sea­son, any win is a good one.

Childs Walker, sports re­porter: If you’re go­ing to open the sea­son with a sloppy slog, you might as well win. Flacco han­dled con­tact well and hooked up with his new deep threats, Mike Wallace and Bre­shad Per­ri­man, for big gains. But the Ravens strug­gled to run the ball, es­pe­cially in the se­cond half, when they’d nor­mally ex­pect to wear an op­po­nent down. On de­fense, out­side line­backer Ter­rell Suggs, com­ing off a se­cond torn Achilles ten­don, did not play with his old ex­plo­sive­ness. A strong all-around ef­fort by the sec­ondary com­pen­sated for the lack of a pass rush. If you be­lieve the Ravens are a team in tran­si­tion with­out a clear path to the play­offs, this per­for­mance prob­a­bly did not change your mind. But again, 1-0 is bet­ter than the al­ter­na­tive.

Ed Lee, Ravens re­porter: The Ravens should be grate­ful for their de­fense, be­cause they didn’t wow any­one with their of­fen­sive show­ing. They also got con­sid­er­able help from a Bills of­fense that seemed to be stuck in mud and couldn’t fig­ure out a way to get the ball to Sammy Watkins. Ravens coaches and play­ers will say a win is a win, and fac­ing the hap­less Browns on Sun­day is a nice way to be­gin the sea­son, but the Ravens can’t keep this up for an­other 15 games.

Mike Preston, colum­nist: It’s al­ways great to win the first game of the sea­son be­cause it at least points you in the right di­rec­tion and gives you some con­fi­dence. But there are still a lot of ques­tions sur­round­ing this team, if only be­cause there weren’t a lot of an­swers in the Ravens’ win over Buf­falo.

Peter Sch­muck, colum­nist: There were some hic­cups, but the Ravens de­fense shut down Tay­lor and the Bills of­fense so well that Flacco could feel his way around in his first game in 10 months. De­spite their lack of scor­ing, the Ravens got big plays from new­comer re­ceiver Wallace and come­back re­ceiver Per­ri­man, as well as some big runs from Justin Forsett and Ter­rance West. All in all, a nice way to start.

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