The preseason opener went about as well as possible for the Ravens starters. Their second showing was the complete opposite.
There were few bright spots for the Ravens Saturday night in Philadelphia as Baltimore's starters exited with a 17-0 deficit, the second-team didn't fare much better, and the Ravens finished with a 40-17 loss.
It was not good in any of the three phases: offense, defense or special teams.
"It was not the first half we wanted," Head Coach John Harbaugh told WBAL and Ravens Productions Sideline Reporter Brent Harris at halftime. "We didn't do much very well."
Quarterback Joe Flacco went 3-for-7 for 23 yards and two interceptions in three drives. The starters' only drive that didn't end with a turnover picked up a net of 9 yards, in part due to a holding penalty.
Facing a starting quarterback for the first time this preseason (the Saints' Drew Brees didn't play last week), and the Eagles' fast-paced offense, the defense similarly struggled.
The starting defense allowed a 14-play, 84-yard touchdown drive, then a five-play, 28-yard touchdown drive, followed by a 15-yard, 77-yard drive ending with a 21-yard field goal.
While the Eagles enjoyed the debut of starting quarterback Sam Bradford and Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray, the Ravens were playing short-handed due to injuries.
Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele, right tackle Rick Wagner and wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Michael Campanaro were all out. Two more right tackles, James Hurst (head) and De'Ondre Wesley (leg) went down during the game, leaving the Ravens extremely short-handed on the offensive line.
To make matters worse, the special teams unit even had a rare gaffe, allowing a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 24-0 lead before halftime.
Quote Of The Day
"I just told the team, we'll learn from this. We have a lot to learn from, obviously." – Harbaugh
Tuning Point Of The Game
The Ravens' first-team offense had some momentum at the start of their opening drive. Running back Justin Forsett ripped a 14-yard run on the first play, then Lorenzo Taliaferro pushed the pile to move the chains on fourth down. Just when things were looking good, Flacco threw a bomb into double coverage and left it short.
- Flacco's first interception came when he tried to launch a deep bomb from his own half of the field to wide receiver Kamar Aiken. The pass was a bit underthrown as Flacco came under pressure and bounced off Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll and was intercepted by Walter Thurmond in the end zone. Aiken also**fell backwards instead of staying upright and fighting for the ball.
- The Eagles' opening drive got a boost from four Baltimore defensive penalties (two were accepted). The first one, a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, was called on outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who hit Philadelphia starting quarterback Sam Bradford immediately after he handed the ball off in the read option. Suggs and Harbaugh were clearly not happy with the call because Bradford should have been ruled a runner.
- Flacco's second pick came when he simply threw too high for wide receiver Marlon Brown. Brown was open in zone coverage and is a tall target, but not *that *tall. Flacco was easily intercepted by cornerback Byron Maxwell.
- Philadelphia marched down the field following the second interception and punched in for a touchdown when Murray was untouched from 2 yards out, giving the Eagles a quick 14-0 lead.
- Baltimore's usually stout special teams unit surrendered a 68-yard punt return touchdown to speedy Eagles running back Kenjon Barner, putting the game essentially out of reach at 24-0.
- Rookie sixth-round wide receiver Darren Waller got the Ravens on the board early in the fourth quarter when he hauled in a 7-yard pass from quarterback Bryn Renner. Waller leapt to make the quick catch, then plunged into the end zone, continuing his momentum after a strong practice Thursday in Philadelphia.
- The Ravens held Eagles backup quarterback Tim Tebow out of the end zone after a* *touchdown scramble was overturned by review. Rookie free agent safety Nick Perry was in pursuit. Rookie fourth-round outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith also sacked Tebow, but it was negated by a penalty in the secondary.
WR Daniel BrownBrown made the play of the game for the Ravens with a leaping 28-yard catch down the sideline late in the fourth quarter. He caught the ball over a leaping Eagles cornerback. The undrafted rookie free agent from James Madison took a big hit on his way into the end zone.
Stat Of The Game
The Ravens had 13 penalties (nine accepted) for 82 yards in the first half. They finished the game with 17 accepted penalties for 139 yards.
On The Horizon
The Ravens will be back at home for their third preseason game on Saturday, August 29, this time against the neighboring Washington Redskins.
Check out the best photos from Lincoln Financial Field as the Ravens battle Chip Kelly and the Eagles in week 2 of the 2015 preseason!