Ravens' First-Team Offense Cruises In Debut


Well it can't get much better than that.

The Ravens' first-team offense cruised down the field with a 16-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in its first series and the only action of Thursday night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints at M&T Bank Stadium.

Coming off a franchise high in offensive productivity in 2014, the Ravens begin this season with a new offensive coordinator in Marc Trestman. His first drive, and the results, didn't look any different from where the Ravens left off.

Baltimore's first-team offense dinked and dunked its way down the field, sprinkling in a healthy mix of short passing plays and runs.

Quarterback Joe Flacco went 5-of-6 for 33 yards and had a 17-yard scamper around the edge to pick up one first down.

That was all the Ravens needed to see from Flacco, as he went to the sideline and took his helmet off. He was done for the night.

Somewhat out of character, Flacco admitted to having "a few nerves" before the preseason opener. He said he really wanted to do well knowing that he wouldn't get many reps.

"It makes you feel so much better mentally because you feel like everything you've been doing during training camp is paying off," Flacco said. "Now we need to continue to do it."

Pundits have questioned how balanced Trestman will be this season. On his first drive calling plays for the Ravens, Baltimore passed six times and ran 10. One of those runs was a called pass in which Flacco took off running when nobody was open.

Trestman did stay true to his reputation by getting the halfbacks heavily involved in the passing game. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk caught two passes for 13 yards and Flacco also threw his only completion the fullback's way. Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro caught one pass for eight yards.

"That's exactly what you look for on the first drive of the season," Juszczyk said. "We wanted to establish a good rhythm and go out there and hit some other guys. To cap it off with a touchdown, it just makes you feel good about the work that we've put in so far and also where we're going."

The offense finished last season on a high, scoring 31 points in New England in the AFC divisional round. They put up 30 points in Pittsburgh the week before.

Despite promises the offense wouldn't change much under Trestman, it had yet to be seen on the field.

"We haven't played a regular football game since January, so to start the season with that kind of tempo – even if it is just preseason – it's definitely a good feeling when you have that kind of series where everything seems to be clicking," said center Jeremy Zuttah.

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