Five for Friday: 5 reasons for Ravens optimism
For a second straight game, the Ravens' starters got outplayed by their opponents. In Thursday's 34-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers, turnovers and big plays did them in as the Panthers scored four return touchdowns, three of them with the first-teamers on the field. It's the preseason, so there shouldn't be too much doom and gloom in Baltimore. But in case you are in need of some silver linings, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel gives fans five reasons to be optimistic in this week's Five for Friday.
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The defense is heading in the right direction
The first-team defense had a disappointing performance against the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Falcons ran the ball on them, Julio Jones got the better of Jimmy Smith and the Falcons scored 13 points in just over a quarter. But the Ravens tightened up against the Panthers, particularly against the run. The Panthers averaged just 3.1 yards per carry and the Ravens also held them to just 98 passing yards. With the season opener just a couple of weeks away, it looks like the Baltimore defense has started to gel.