orchestrated the offense out of no-huddle mode and the shotgun formation, frequently audibling at the line. Halfback draws to
out of the shotgun kept the Bengals honest along with waggles, play-action and reverses. It was primarily fast-break football, but the Ravens didn't completely abandon their smash-mouth roots with
bulldozing pathways for Rice with isolation plays out of the I-formation. Remaining true to their 3-4 base defense, they were hardly vanilla as Dean Pees dialed up blitzes and stunts to create a pass rush for a defense bereft of
The Ravens went no-huddle on 21 of 58 snaps, an indicator it's no passing fancy. They were in the shotgun 15 times. Tight end
, who had a career-high 73 receiving yards, was on the field for 44 plays while
played 39 snaps. Often in double-tight-end formations and three-wide-receiver looks. Left guard
and rookie right tackle
never left the field and held up solidly in starting debuts.
What went right:
Flacco collaborated with Ravens offensive coordinator
for a crisp tempo, keeping the defense off guard with unpredictable playcalling. Respect was paid to Rice on a play-action fake sold adeptly by Flacco, who connected with
in stride for a 52-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. Rice generated 93 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, but could handle a bigger workload.
was an ironman on defense, playing 62 snaps and recording seven tackles and a fumble recovery .
exploited a mismatch over center
for two sacks.
delivered some punishing hits, and a lighter
was extremely active.
What went wrong:
Interior defensive linemen
didn't build an adequate wall inside as
had 91 yards and a touchdown.
surrendered ground far too easily, getting manhandled by Bengals tackle
. Although Kruger played 61 plays, he had just one tackle and fellow linebacker
only had two tackles in 48 plays. The Bengals racked up 4.6 yards per carry.
After Webb's touchdown-saving tackle on a scrambling
held Cincinnati to a field goal in the third quarter when
declined to go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Ravens' 1-yard line, Flacco marched the offense 89 yards on nine plays capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Pitta for a 24-13 lead. The game was never close again.
The Ravens look vulnerable on the perimeter defensively because the outside linebackers aren't setting the edge physically enough. That could be a major problem against the Eagles because of the multi-dimensional athleticism of quarterback
and the elusiveness of speedy running back