Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is taking the glass-half-full outlook on the wildly varied performances of his offense and defense in the first two weeks of the season.
"It gives me a lot of hope the fact that we put it all together on both sides, that we can be a very good football team," Harbaugh said. "But that's the thing; you have to put it together on the same day. You have to be clicking on all cylinders."
In Week 1 against Denver, the Ravens defense gave up just 219 total yards to Peyton Manning and a very dangerous Broncos offense. Baltimore kept Denver's offense out of the end zone entirely.
In Week 2 against Oakland, the Ravens defense surrendered 448 total yards and 37 points to the Raiders offense, which had previously come out of the game with three scoreless quarters against the Bengals the week before.
The results were just as varied on the offensive side of the ball.
In Week 1, the offense had just 173 total yards and managed only six points. It went 2-for-13 on third down, couldn't run the ball and left quarterback Joe Flacco fleeing from the Broncos pass rush on the majority of snaps.
In Week 2, the Ravens offense posted 493 total yards and 33 points. It was the third-most total yards the team has produced since 2012. The Ravens went 4-for-11 on third down, averaged 4.4 yards per rush and protected Flacco well, allowing him to throw for 384 yards.
Both games, however, have produced losses.
"You can't be playing with one arm tied behind your back in a game," Harbaugh said. "It's hard to win when you're playing with one arm tied behind your back. We've spread it out on both sides, and we have to find a way to put it all together."
The Bengals, who sit at an opposite 2-0, have put it all* *together so far this season. Their 57 total points scored per game ranks sixth in the NFL and their 32 points allowed is fourth.
Cincinnati is a team that pundits are buzzing about being one of the best in the NFL this season, and Harbaugh isn't going to disagree.
"I'll tell you, I do believe [Cincinnati] is the most talented team in the league," Harbaugh said Monday. "I've seen that over the years.
"Obviously, it starts with A.J. Green, but the whole cast of characters there on offense is very talented and gifted – tight ends, running backs, quarterback. The whole group is very good, and they have a heck of an offensive line. I'd say they're the complete package, talent-wise."
The Ravens have a lot of talented players too. Now they just have to show they can all have a good performance together on Sundays.
"What are we capable of being? Who are we really?" Harbaugh said. "That's what we are going to find out over the course of the next few weeks."