Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 34-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers
Baltimore Sun reporter Childs Walker analyzes the Ravens after their third preseason game, a 34-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
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1( Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun / August 22, 2013 )
Regarding the Ravens offense, any conclusion is in play.
For one series at least, the first-team offense looked every bit as crisp as anyone could hope -- far better than it had at any point the previous week.
Ray Rice (pictured) ran powerfully behind what is likely to be the starting offensive line, with Marshal Yanda back at right guard and Gino Gradkowski at center.
Joe Flacco expertly varied the pace and moved the ball around the field with sharp underneath passes.
When Rice glided into the end zone after nine plays and 69 yards, the anxiety from a ghastly performance against the Atlanta Falcons felt long gone.
And then everything blew up. Flacco threw two interceptions, again looking out of sync with an unfamiliar receiving corps. The running game lost its snap with Yanda out of the game. The offense essentially handed the Panthers 17 points without giving the defense a chance.
Come the second half, however, Flacco again found his rhythm, especially with receiver Marlon Brown, an undrafted rookie free agent who wasn't even considered a sure thing to make the team.
So what to make of this whiplash-inducing performance? You got me. The Ravens have never been a week-in-week-out offensive juggernaut in the Flacco years. And at the very least, it seems consistency will remain elusive this season.