The Ravens talked all week about what a great opportunity it was to play on Monday night, and then their offense went out and played about as bad of a first half as a team could play.
That they trailed only 3-0 after the quarter was due to the Jaguars' own offensive ineptitude and the Ravens' ability to get to Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in April's draft. Jones-Drew's inability to hold on to the ball also helped.
After Rice's fumble — his first in 522 regular-season touches, the longest such streak in the NFL — gave Jacksonville the ball on the Ravens' 34, Jones-Drew achieved the game's initial first down with an 11-yard run at the 8:52 mark.
Embattled Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio then opted to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Ravens' 15, and Jones-Drew took the direct snap and rumbled 12 yards.
However, on the very next play, Jones-Drew dived toward the goal line and fumbled the ball after he was hit by safety Ed Reed; linebacker Jameel McClain recovered. The officials ruled that Jones-Drew was down by contact, but Harbaugh challenged the call, and it was reversed. The first quarter came to a merciful end after Koch's fourth punt, but the Ravens' offensive struggles didn't. In fact, a case could be made that they were even worse in the second quarter.
Four more drives in the second half ended the same way, with Koch back to punt. On their first drive of the second quarter, Flacco fumbled on the first play, and then Rice fumbled on the third, and Jacksonville recovered. The play was reviewed and the Ravens kept the ball, only to punt again.
Another miscue, this one a call on linebacker Paul Kruger for running into the punter, set the Jaguars up for another long field goal to give the Jaguars a 6-0 lead.