It was a typical performance by Joe Flacco, except he played well in the first half and was average in the second. Flacco had some nice sideline throws, but he has to develop a better feel in the pocket of when to go down, and when to tuck the ball. But he did throw for more than 300 yards.
Flacco got most of these guys involved, and he did it early in the game. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, despite constantly being held, ran some crisp routes and was physical as well. Derrick Mason owned the sideline routs but should have held on to the pass while running that slant pattern. Anquan Boldin had three catches for 29 yards, but his fumble after a reception hurt.
Carolina registered three sacks, and the Panthers seemed to get better as the game wore on. The Ravens have become too predictable running to the left side behind tackle Michael Oher and guard Ben Grubbs. Right guard Tony Moll played well filling in for regular starter Chris Chester.
finished with 100 yards rushing, but never got in a rhythm. Ray Rice had 65 yards on 19 carries but got very little off the stretch plays. There were times when Willis McGahee looked strong, but he didn't stay in long enough to establish himself.
The Ravens rotated Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Cory Redding and Terrence Cody along the front, and only Redding stood out and got penetration at times. Cody had a strong game last week but played poorly. Gregg had virtually no presence, and most of these guys were getting knocked off the ball.
Ray Lewis had 10 total tackles to lead the team, but he wasn't a factor in the middle and was getting pushed back. Fellow inside linebacker Jameel McClain also had trouble getting off blocks, and strong side linebacker Jarret Johnson registered only two tackles. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had seven tackles, and was strong in pursuit.
Baltimore Ravens Insider
Teams no longer try to throw on cornerback Chris Carr anymore. The Ravens weren't going to get tested much with Brian St. Pierre at quarterback, and most of his attempts were of the short variety. Safety Ed Reed had one interception, but cornerback Josh Wilson was responsible for giving up a long touchdown reception.
Billy Cundiff converted on field goal attempts of 22, 33 and 49 yards. As usual, he was strong on most of his kickoffs. Sam Koch averaged 46.6 yards on five punts, and his long of 60 yards in the fourth quarter helped the Ravens gain field position. The Ravens seem to have a solid return game with David Reed as the kickoff returner and Lardarius Webb returning punts. The Ravens, though, need to improve kickoff coverage: