So that couldn’t have been the start to the preseason the Ravens wanted.
Their offense could manage nothing against the Falcons and the Ravens’ “first-team” defense had some difficulty defending the pass with cornerback Cary Williams repeatedly picked on by the Matt Ryan-to-Julio Jones connection.
The Ravens were outgained 191-9 in the opening quarter. Ryan found Jones six times for 109 yards. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, totaled 11 passing yards.
The quarter ended with Atlanta leading 7-0 and the Falcons tacked on a second touchdown on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
No sacks for the Ravens yet. However, Brendon Ayanbadejo did come up with an interception.
The poor showing (no first downs) for the offense has the first-team unit still out there for the first series of the second quarter.
Instant Update: The offense is likely done after finally doing something positive.
Following three three-and-outs in the first quarter, Flacco led the Ravens on an 11-play, 77-yard drive the first time the team got the ball in the second. He ended it with a 9-yard dart to Ed Dickson for a touchdown that cut Atlanta’s lead to 14-7.
Flacco’s night appears over with much more impressive numbers than he had through three drives - 9-for-12 for 88 yards and a score.
Here comes backup Tyrod Taylor.
Update II: Not much has changed. The Falcons’ second team scooted right down the field to end the half with a Matt Bryant 31-yard field goal and a 17-7 lead.
The Falcons outgained Baltimore 258-149 in the first half.
Albert McClellan has shined brightest on defense, racking up two tackles, two assists and a sack.
John Harbaugh spoke briefly on the television broadcast as he jogged off the field.
“We’ve just got a lot of things we need to work on, all three phases basically,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m not happy with any of it.”
That about sums it up.
Tempered optimism is in order, of course, since this is third-teamers vs. third-teamers and beyond late in the third quarter. And remember, Painter did play nine games at quarterback for the Colts last year.
Update IV: And now we know for sure the bottom portion of the Ravens’ roster is a step up from the Falcons’.
Another Painter touchdown pass, this time an 18-yard screen to Bobby Rainey, has increased Baltimore’s lead to 31-17 with 12:20 to go in the contest.
Update V: And that’s a wrap for the first preseason game. Ravens win 31-17. The first-team offense and defense both had difficulty. The bench looked good, however.