Troublesome Start, Challenges Ahead Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk Troublesome Start, Challenges Ahead

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There is little time for the Ravens to dwell on their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders … and fix the problems that surfaced in that game. 

The Ravens have to turn around and get ready for a prime-time matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have beaten Baltimore in each of the past three seasons. The Chiefs looked impressive in their come-from-behind 33-29 victory over the Cleveland Browns in their opener. 

“We have a lot of fight and a lot of heart, but we have a lot of room for improvement,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Where we’re at right now, I just feel like this was a tough one. The biggest thing is that we have to learn from it and have a strong week. 

“We have another tough opponent coming into our house, opening up our home game, so we have to be at our best. This is one of those things, but our team is a tough team. We know we have a lot of heart, but we have to find a way to win ballgames like this.”

The Ravens were in control early against the Raiders before they began to fade down the stretch in the 33-27 overtime loss. Baltimore gave up 23 points and 327 yards after halftime.

The Ravens were able to keep pressure on Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr, early in the game and managed three sacks by Pernell McPhee, rookie Odafe Oweh and Patrick Queen

However, Carr was still able to make plays after halftime and torched Baltimore’s secondary. He completed 34 of 56 passes for 435 yards with two touchdowns. 

The Ravens could not get a stop with 37 seconds left that allowed the Raiders to drive down the field with no timeouts and kick the game-tying field goal. Las Vegas won the toss in overtime and marched down the field again but Carr threw an interception to Anthony Averett on third and goal. Quarterback Lamar Jackson gave the ball back to Las Vegas on a short field and Carr threw a game-winning 31-yard pass to Zay Jones.

The Ravens will need to play much better to beat Kansas City or quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be even more lethal than Carr. 

“It’s the first game of the season, so there will always be a few wrinkles in there – that was expected,” Campbell said. “You can’t prepare for everything; you can only prepare off of what they did last year and in the preseason. But that’s only so much, so that’s just how it goes. We did things that they weren’t ready for, too, that they couldn’t prepare for that were unique. You have to hand it to them; they earned the win. It hurts. 

“We don’t like to lose like that. Again, I felt like we had it, and then they found a way to win it. But you have to give them the respect and then find a way to come back next week with our heads high and a lot of hunger in our hearts.”

The biggest issue for the Ravens heading into the game against Kansas City is the offensive line, which played poorly against the Raiders’ front seven. The growing pains were expected since they didn’t have much time with one another in training camp because of injuries. 

Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby was in the backfield several times and was disruptive most of the night. Jackson, who was sacked three times, was able to buy a lot of time or the situation could have been a lot worse. 

Right tackle Alejandro Villanueva struggled most of the night and the Ravens had to give him more support in the fourth quarter, Guard/tackle Tyre Phillips had to carted from the field with a knee injury and was placed on IR. 

It was a troublesome start that needs to get fixed quickly.

“We play Sunday night,” Jackson said. “We’re going to be at the Bank, we haven’t been there in a minute, and we got to make something happen.”

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About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich
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