The Ravens offense opened their 2014 campaign seemingly right where they left off in 2013.
Much was made not only over the last week, but over the entire offseason about the Ravens not being allowed to start games out slow, yet they found themselves stuck in idle once again on Sunday.
Boneheaded quarterback plays, turnovers and dropped passes all played a part in allowing Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to earn his first ever victory at M&T Bank Stadium.
“Offensively, we just couldn’t get it done,” Steve Smith, Sr. stated after the game. “As receivers we didn’t play as well as we could. We came in at halftime and we basically… We screwed ourselves receiver-wise as best as we could; we dropped all the ‘gimmies,’ but we caught all the hard ones.”
Smith Sr., who had four drops alone in the first half, finished the day with a respectful 118 yards receiving on seven receptions including his 80 yard touchdown, but understands the importance of “shaking it off”.
GIF c/o Gordon Dixon
“You’ve got to understand what’s going on and why. Just taking my eyes off the ball, just anxious and wanting to make a play. It’s going to happen, you’ve got to minimize the mistakes [and] you have to have a short memory.
“If you do well, you can’t allow that to take you into where you don’t perform well, and if you have a bad half, you’ve got to come out and play better.”
Torrey Smith echoed the sentiments of Smith Sr. following the loss.
“We just have to make plays,” he said. “It’s really that simple. There were throws that Joe [Flacco] made that were great; we just have to come up with them.”
Already 0-1 in the division, the wide receiver corps understands the need to right their ways quickly with the Steelers (1-0) coming to town on a short week.
“You’ve got to use a win and a loss the same way,” Smith, Sr. said. “You can’t harp on the wins and fuel yourself up, and you can’t sulk on the losses. You’ve just got to be prepared, and ready, and understand who you’re playing and what you’ve got to do, and improve on what you didn’t do well.”
It’s naive to think there wouldn’t be bumps in the road in the offense.
While the jury is still out as to whether this was just a case of shaking off the rust or first game jitters, one thing is for sure – the Ravens better hope for the latter to be the case, because it will be an uphill battle starting off the season 0-2 in the division.
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