Instant analysis of the Ravens' 34-23 loss to the Bengals

The Baltimore Sun

Childs Walker, reporter: We saw the good vibes around the Ravens passing offense disappear quickly in the face of a legitimate NFL pass rush. We also saw the defense fall apart after linebacker C.J. Mosley left the game in the first quarter with a bone bruise. That diagnosis was a relief, but the Ravens can’t afford to play without Mosley, their defensive leader, for long. They failed to pressure Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton or blanket his gifted receivers. On the bright side, John Brown looks like the most dynamic receiving threat the Ravens have had since Steve Smith Sr.’s first season in town. And rookie linebacker Kenny Young played well in Mosley’s absence. After two weeks, we really don’t know whether the Ravens are better or worse than they were in 2017.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter: The Ravens had a woeful start and a hard-to-swallow finish, but they should be count their lucky stars that the night was not more dire. C.J. Mosley looks to have avoided a serious knee injury, and Joe Flacco continued to build a rapport with his new receivers. One or two better decisions, or one or two more seconds of protection on some plays, and the Ravens might have been on the happy side of a huge comeback.

Mike Preston, columnist: There was hope that the Ravens had gotten past this point of where they had slow started and played poorly on the road, but these are the same old Ravens. They got behind because of penalties, sloppy play and poor technique. They still have trouble matching up with top receivers in the league and this time couldn't slow A.J. Green. At least the Ravens have some time off before the next game. Hopefully, they have some good words on linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The way the Ravens played in the first quarter, it's a wonder they were able to make a game of it. Joe Flacco piled up some yards fighting back from that early 21-point deficit, but he wasn't particularly sharp and he turned the ball over three times. Can't win a division game on the road doing that.

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