The malaise that afflicted the Ravens a week ago continued at Minnesota, when they fell behind by two touchdowns in the first nine minutes. There was no semblance of offense until the two-minute drill, when Joe Flacco hit Todd Heap (22 yards) and Derrick Mason (23) for big plays.
Unfortunately, Flacco elected to throw a checkdown pass to Ray Rice in the middle of the field that drained the clock to 6 seconds and the Ravens had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Steve Hauschka, who was released by the Vikings a year ago. The Ravens' clock management was less than desirable.
The Ravens were guilty of three false starts in the first half, two by Michael Oher, who struggled against Vikings Pro Bowl rush end Jared Allen. Ben Grubbs got the other penalty. The Ravens were incapable of running the ball against the Vikings' front line.
Defensively, the Ravens surrendered touchdowns on Minnesota's first two drives. Brett Favre carved up the secondary on those possessions, but was held in check the rest of the half. Baltimore's pass defense still appeared to be vulnerable. With the exception of a first-drive 26-yard run, Adrian Peterson was contained about as well as he can be.
The Vikings' defense was offside three times on the Ravens' field-goal drive, jumping the count. It was a strange series, to say the least.
But the Ravens were in position to make a comeback in the second half, and after their poor start, that's all they can ask.