With Sunday's season-ending knee injury to Joe Flacco, the Ravens lost their stalwart quarterback who has been a picture of durability over his eight-year career and stability during in an injury-hit, disappointing season. But Flacco's statistics paint the picture of a quarterback who was among the least efficient and productive in the NFL this season.
The Ravens say that they have moved on from a shocking 37-33 loss to the Raiders and their focus is on Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a game they need to win to avoid falling to 0-3 for the first time in team history. However, the process of turning the page started with a thorough review of the Raiders' game film, which Pees described as "hard to watch."
Maybe it should be some consolation that the difference between the Ravens being 2-0 instead of 0-2 can be traced to one key play in the season-opener against the Denver Broncos and one near-miss in Sunday's galling last-minute loss to the Oakland Raiders.
It's a position coach John Harbaugh has never been in as a head coach. The history for 0-2 teams in the NFL is gloomy, and the Ravens' path will get no easier as they prepare to host the AFC North-rival Cincinnati Bengals in their home opener on Sunday.
A day after Terrell Suggs was hurt in the middle of the fourth quarter of the Ravens' eventual 19-13 loss to the Broncos, coach John Harbaugh said the organization is considering external options to replace the rush linebacker. However, Harbaugh expressed confidence that the Ravens have what it takes in-house to fill the void.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco allowed the Broncos¿ defense to do what their offense seemingly couldn¿t: get in the end zone. Cornerback Aqib Talib got position on Steve Smith Sr., intercepted Flacco¿s pass and returned it 53 yards for the go-ahead score. Those were the decisive points as the Broncos dropped the Ravens, 19-13, in front of an announced 76,798 at Sports Authority Field.
For months, they've heard the talk about how they could be the weak link of an otherwise championship-caliber team. They've been reminded about their roles in blowing two 14-point leads in an AFC divisional playoff loss to the New England Patriots in January. They've dealt with injuries and change, and now the Ravens' secondary gets another challenge: Peyton Manning.
The Ravens have tried to downplay going against their former offensive coordinator-turned-head coach, Gary Kubiak, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees hasn't. It isn't about revenge or a grudge match, it's about respect.
The Ravens and Broncos remember their 2013 season-opening matchup, but they dismissed its significance as the Ravens prepare to open another season of lofty expectations in the Mile-High City against the Broncos.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was regularly approached this offseason by fans who spoke excitedly about the start of the regular season. Knowing that the opener was still months away, Flacco said his response would be, "OK, take it easy." Now, Flacco is swept up in the excitement as well.