The Ravens’ first drive under Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell ended with a turnover.
That was just the start of what was a rough opening act for the Ravens’ new offensive play caller.
The Ravens had five three-and-outs to start Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
Then the unit saw a progression of the same problems that plagued it under Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, who was dismissed Monday.
Needless to say, the Ravens didn’t get the immediate spark they were looking for under Caldwell. But the players pointed at themselves as the cause of a poor day and not their coach.
"The plays were the same," running back
The Ravens finally got on track in the fourth quarter and scored a pair of touchdowns.
Still, they put up just 278 total yards of offense, 66 yards less than their average entering the game. The offense had 359 yards of offense last week in Washington.
Flacco was asked how much of the offense’s struggles can be attributed to the switch at offensive coordinator.
“I don’t think any,” he said. “I think it was a matter of us going out there and not doing some of the simple things early on, and it kind of took us a while to get into that groove that we really needed to be successful.”
The first play under the Caldwell era was an 8-yard gain to fullback
“You can’t come out, can’t turn the ball over, can’t shoot yourself in the foot,” Boldin said. “Same old thing. We just have to cut it out.”
Caldwell tried to get the run game going, but it wasn’t finding traction early. The Ravens ran 14 times for just 41 yards (2.9 per carry) in the first half.
The passing game couldn’t find a rhythm either. Flacco had a lot of pressure in his face and was knocked twice to the turf on the Ravens’ second drive. The pressure created some inaccuracy on Flacco’s part, but he once again fired over receivers’ heads even when not hit.
The Ravens got their first first down about midway through the second quarter, but promptly committed a holding penalty that stalled the drive.
They got going on the next drive thanks to a nice catch by
But Flacco took a quick drop and flung a pass to the sideline intended for wide recevier
Flacco chased Harris all the way to the end zone and made a diving attempt at his ankles. He laid flat on the ground for more than five seconds as the Broncos took a 17-0 lead into halftime. The play call came in from the coaches, but Flacco put the interception on his shoulders.
“I just made a mistake, there’s no other way to put that,” Flacco said. “I made a mistake.”
Overall, the players said the offense didn’t change much under Caldwell.
“You know, I felt like Jim called a great game,” said tight end
“We as players didn’t execute it as cleanly as we would have liked, and there’s a lot of plays out there we would like to have back – myself included.”
Boldin was asked whether the unit needs more time to gel under the new coordinator.
“You don’t have that,” he said. “We’re in the heart of the season. Playoffs are right around the corner. You don’t have an adjustment period.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked for his evaluation of Caldwell's first game as coordinator.
“I’m not into assessments right now," he said. "Everybody fought like crazy and did their best. We have a lot of capable people. It’s not about that, and it’s not going to be about that."