Halftime notes as problems continue for Ravens

I wasn’t sure it was possible for the Ravens to repeat that stinkbomb of a performance they put up on Monday night.

Today’s game against the Cardinals hasn’t been quite as rough as the Jacksonville debacle, but it’s pretty darn close.

Facing the NFL’s 26th-ranked defense, the Ravens have managed just 156 yards of total offense. They also turned the ball over twice inside their own 20-yard line and allowed an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown. Won’t win many games that way.

Here are some quick-hit notes on the first 30 minutes of play:

- The pass protection has been brutal today. Bryant McKinnie, Andre Gurode and Michael Oher have really struggled to provide any semblance of a pocket, and Joe Flacco has taken a pounding as a result. The left side of the line, in particular, has really had a rough go of it.

- The Ravens have leaned more on the running game today, but Flacco continues to struggle when asked to put the ball in the air. Flacco is just 12-of-23 for 98 yards and an interception so far today, and while he hasn’t gotten a ton of help from his offensive line, the Baltimore quarterback has sailed a few of his throws, was nearly intercepted in the red zone and then was picked off deep in Baltimore territory late in the second quarter.

- Ray Rice had eight carries in Monday night’s loss to the Jaguars. Rice got his eighth carry of today’s game on the first play of the second quarter. That’s much better.

- The one time that the Ravens appeared to be in rhythm offensively was when they went with the no-huddle on their final drive of the half. Flacco went through his progressions nicely, took what the defense gave him and moved the ball down the field for a Billy Cundiff field goal. You might wanna think about using that no-huddle a touch more, Mr. Cameron.

- Jerry Rosburg, the Ravens’ special teams coordinator, has some “splainin” of his own to do. The Ravens have now allowed two kick returns for touchdowns this season, following Patrick Peterson’s 82-yard punt return for a score. That can’t happen.

- According to the Ravens’ coaches, Ray Lewis missed just five plays all of last year. He missed four today after suffering a right shoulder stinger on Baltimore’s second defensive series of the game.

- On the positive side - hey, I need to do something to try and brighten the mood a bit - it’s nice to see Jimmy Smith get rotated in a bit on the defensive side of the ball. Smith has served as the Ravens’ dime back today, coming in when the team has gone with six defensive backs on the field. He’s played just a couple snaps, but looked good breaking up a third down pass intended for Early Doucet in the second quarter.

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