While the Ravens' first-team offense stumbled and fumbled a bit, Baltimore's second-teamers picked up the slack.
Coming off a Ravens' debut in which he still looked a little out*of sync, quarterback Marc Bulger shined in his second crack, showing rhythm with Donte' Stallworth* and David Reed.
The free agent addition went 13-for-16 for 130 yards and led a 94-yard touchdown drive, good for a 100.5 quarterback rating. The Ravens scored 10 points in three drives with Bulger under center.
"There are always things you can improve, but at least there was improvement from the first to the second game," a modest Bulger said. "That's all I was looking for."
Bulger didn't have the best debut. He went 5-of-12 for 67 yards and lost a fumble.
"I guess I didn't want to set the bar too high," Bulger said with a laugh.
Bulger entered Saturday's game on Baltimore's final drive of the first half. He looped a beautiful pass to Stallworth over zone coverage for a 25-yard gain to get the drive moving. It was a coverage Bulger recognized from his days in St. Louis when Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett was a coordinator for the Rams. Veteran move.
Bulger hit Stallworth again for a 17-yard gain, but the drive stalled and the Ravens settled for a 42-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff.
After a three-and-out to start the second half, Bulger began his third drive backed up to his own 6-yard line. He told his teammates in the huddle that he just wanted to get out to the 30 or 40-yard line to change field position.
"Let's do that and if we get there we'll see what happens," Bulger said.
What ensued was a 94-yard march. Bulger hit the rookie Reed four times for a combined 38 yards. He went 8-for-9 for 78 yards on the drive, which was capped off on a 3-yard touchdown plunge by Jalen Parmele.
Bulger said his progress is just a matter of getting more reps in Baltimore's offense, which is primarily based on timing routes. That kind of familiarity takes time, but Bulger's performance was a good sign that he'll be capable of backing up Joe Flacco on Sept. 13 – the regular season opener – if needed.
"I thought Marc really did look sharp," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He was throwing on time. Even a couple times he was right on when the receivers were a step behind what he was doing."
Stallworth, Reed and Parmele stepped up their games from the first week while running with the second team.
Stallworth had one catch for 26 yards and Reed was shut out in his NFL debut. Stallworth notched three grabs for 47 yards Saturday. Parmele ran seven times for -7 yards and had a fumble against the Panthers. He rushed seven times for 18 yards and a touchdown Saturday night.
"We're making progress and had some good rhythm part of the first half," Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said. "That second group we had in there did a real good job against a lot of their starters."