Two words describe the Ravens win against Tampa Bay Sunday: impressive and encouraging.
It's too early for anyone to put them in the playoffs or Super Bowl, but it was a strong showing by the Ravens against a playoff team of a year ago, and on the road. It's a major mental step for a team which had lost 11 straight road games. The Ravens defense was well-coached and showed great team speed. This group seems like they are on a mission trying to prove last year was a fluke when the Ravens finished 6-10.
There is still concern about the offense. The Ravens had a great opening drive, but seemed to lose their rhythm after that possession. Steve McNair managed the game well, but was erratic as far as passing. He short-hopped four short passes, and his receivers bailed him out on three others. Running back Jamal Lewis was impressive, and will get better once his playing condition improves. The offensive line did a decent job of protecting McNair even though Tampa seemed to lack intensity.
The Bucs were missing two starting guards yesterday, but that's life in the NFL. Overall, a strong effort by the Ravens, one that they can build on. The win puts them in a good position to get off to a good start. They're going to need it with two games each against the Bengals and Steelers. Sometimes, the first game of the season is the toughest to win.