Throws that were wild and off-target. Runs stopped not very far from the line of scrimmage. Blocking that appeared non-existent.
Not much seemed to change between the game plan called by former offensive coordinator
But nearly every player on the offensive side of the ball deflected any conjecture about Caldwell's effectiveness in his first game as the
"It ain't really about the play calling," Ravens wide receiver
Said Ravens tight end
Harbaugh insisted that he was not prepared to assess Caldwell's debut as the offensive coordinator, saying he would leave that task to the pundits.
"Everybody fought like crazy and did their best," Harbaugh said. "We've got a lot of capable people. So it's not about that, it's not going to be about that. You guys can do all that [analyzing]. What we're going to do is, we're going to work on achieving our dream, achieving our first goal. That's what we've been doing, and that's what we have to do. We aren't going to get bogged down with that stuff."
Against Denver, the Ravens ran some bunch formations and more stretch plays — plays that were a familiar part of the playbook with the
But running back
"The plays were the same," Rice said. "The playbook was the same. Same play calls. We just didn't execute."
The Ravens first five possessions ended in three-and-outs, mustering just 24 yards.
In fact, the offense didn't record a first down until there was 7 minutes, 38 seconds left in the second quarter when running back
The offense's struggles were punctuated by
Flacco took the blame for the gaffe.
"As much as we weren't playing very well in the first half, we still had that opportunity at the end of it to go down there, put points on the board and really put a touchdown on the board and then get the ball coming out of the half," Flacco said. "That could have changed the game. It was a 14-point swing, and that really hurt us."
The pain of Sunday's loss will sting for a few days. It will be up to Caldwell and the offense to get the Ravens back on track next week against the New York Giants.