Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 33-27 overtime loss against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night in the season opener at Allegiant Stadium:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: This was not the Lamar Jackson or the Ravens defense that the preseason promised. With Kansas City coming to town in Week 2, the Ravens had to get off to a good start in Las Vegas. And they did. But then a preseason full of injuries and lost time caught up to the team, seemingly play by play. There were missed tackles, costly fumbles and dropped passes. By the end of the game, it was clear who was the better team. And it wasn’t the dark-horse Super Bowl pick.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens got outcoached in the second half of this game. On offense, the Ravens were simply beaten physically. On defense, Raiders coach Jon Gruden figured out the Ravens’ blitz and pressure schemes in the second half and Baltimore made no adjustments.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens ran out of steam as their vaunted secondary failed to tackle or hold up in one-on-one coverage in the fourth quarter and overtime. It looked like quarterback Lamar Jackson would bail them out with a long completion and a brilliant scramble in the fourth quarter, but they could not put away a game they led for most of the night.
If you want to believe the Ravens are going to have a star-crossed season, this game was an appropriate start.
Tackles Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva simply could not keep Las Vegas edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue off Jackson, a troubling sign given how much focus the Ravens put on rebuilding their offensive line in the offseason. We knew Stanley might need awhile to regain full mobility on his surgically repaired ankle, but he looked nothing like the All-Pro of two years ago.
On the other side of the ball, the Ravens struggled to put consistent heat on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, even when defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale dialed up his favorite blitzes. The secondary held up for most of the night, but Carr punished pressure in the fourth quarter. It was an ominous pattern considering that Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are coming to town Sunday night.
On the plus side, first-round pick Odafe Oweh showed he can already stress a defense with his speed, and middle linebacker Patrick Queen played up to his promises of sophomore improvement.
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Ryan McFadden, reporter: Words can’t adequately describe what we all witnessed Monday night, but here it goes: The Ravens offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Lamar Jackson all game and the knee injury to left guard Tyre Phillips might complicate things even further. Running back Ty’Son Williams held his own in his NFL debut, rushing for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Ravens an early lead.