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Instant analysis from the Ravens' preseason opener against the 49ers

Now that the Ravens' preseason opener is in the books, The Baltimore Sun's reporters, columnists and editors weigh in on the team's debut in the 23-3 win against the San Francisco 49ers.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens got exactly what they wanted out of their preseason opener. The starting offense gained some confidence by going 80 yards and scoring a touchdown on their only drive. The defense settled down after a rough start. And the team emerged from the game with no big injuries to primary players. It's going to be tough for Ravens' fans to contain their enthusiasm after what they saw tonight and that's fine. After what transpired last year, the offense needed to pick up some confidence.   

Mike Preston, columnist: Ravens first offense played well, but they don't have much depth on offensive line. The Ravens got hooked a lot on runs around the end against the 49ers' first offense, and the secondary is scary. The Ravens need to find a No. 3 cornerback. Overall, a solid effort. It will be interesting to see how the two teams match up this week in practice. 

Aaron Wilson, reporter: The Ravens' opening offensive drive was textbook Gary Kubiak, a clinic on the offensive coordinator's version of the West Coast offense. It included the staples of the zone-stretch run, play-action, a tight end screen and plenty of intermediate throws from Joe Flacco followed by some power football in the red zone as Bernard Pierce scored a touchdown. The first-team defense looked sluggish during the 49ers' opening drive. Reserve wide receiver Kamar Aiken opened a few eyes. And cornerback Chykie Brown lost ground in the nickel back competition as he struggled.

Jon Meoli, reporter: The Ravens showed in no uncertain terms that this is going to be a run-heavy team this season. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce were heavily featured in the first series. All of that is possible because of the first-team offensive line, which more than passed its first test against other players. Even in contact practices, the running game was hard to judge. Thursday was an indication that the run game is a little more advanced than I might have thought.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: Joe Flacco looked sharp in first public display of Gary Kubiak offense, hitting four different receivers on touchdown drive. Ray Rice also looked quick and decisive in brief appearance. It was all good...and over too soon. There would be no second chance mess up a good first impression.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: Huh, so that's what an offense looks like. Would have liked to see more of the first-team offense, but the scoring drive was impressive. It's just the first exhibition game, but Gary Kubiak's system already looks better than the previous two coordinators' system.

Monique Jones, Ravens editor: Ravens fans are going to be over the moon after watching the offensive starters play one series in the preseason opener. The Ravens couldn't have asked for a better debut for Gary Kubiak's offense, but it was one series with the starters. It's too soon to draw any conclusions. However, the offensive line made a good impression, which is a step in the right direction for this offense.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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