Can't say I saw this coming.
The Ravens have been outplayed by an 0-5 team so far, and have some work to do in the second half if they want to avoid an embarrassing home loss on the day they welcome back Ed Reed and the 2000 Super Bowl team.
Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first 30 minutes of play:
- OK, who secretly put Peyton Manning in Ryan Fitzpatrick's jersey? I know Peyton has a bye this week and everything, but come on. Fitzpatrick has been playing out of his mind today, picking apart the Baltimore secondary deep down the field, and threading passes into tight windows on the underneath stuff. The Ravens are getting a minimal pass rush, and their defensive backs have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off. At the half, Fitzpatrick is 12-of-16 for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
- Tackling has been a huge issue for the Baltimore defense today. Dawan Landry has been burned a couple times by poor fundamentals, as he's gone for a big hit in the open field instead of wrapping up. Fabian Washington has had some issues as well. This isn't typical for the Ravens' defense, but it's something that needs to get shored up quickly, or else C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson will continue to do some damage on the ground. That duo has already posted 81 rushing yards so far today.
- The Ravens really need to do something about the return game, because they're having big-time issues getting anything going in that aspect. Josh Wilson hasn't shown the spark that we've seen in his YouTube kick returns while he was in Seattle, and he was benched for two returns following his fumble mid-way through the first quarter. Jalen Parmele hasn't much of anything when given the opportunity as well. You can tell how desperate the coaches are for a big play by their decision to put cornerback Lardarius Webb back on punt returns today less than a year after he tore his ACL.
- In case you forgot what Reed can bring to a defense (and I'm sure that's not actually the case), the veteran safety gave a reminder on the Ravens' first defensive series when he put a perfect hit on Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish, knocking the ball loose. Yeah, the Ravens have missed his playmaking ability a little bit.
- The 10 points the Ravens were able to put up at the end of the half were huge. They don't need to be pressured into flinging the ball all over the field in the second half, and can rely on their running game, which has been very effective when given the opportunity today.