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Weak debut for Ravens OC Trestman

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BALTIMORE — The jury is out on new Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s playbook. The Ravens managed only 38 yards of total offense in the first half of a 19-13 loss to the Denver Broncos and just 173 for the game.

“It’s not rocket science,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “We weren’t able to run the ball with consistency, get out of third-and-longs, and then [Denver’s] pass rush cranks up a little bit.

“I thought they covered very well. They got into man coverage and covered well for most of the day. They played really well. At the end, we were able to get the thing moving a little bit. We’ve got to do better in all phases: offense, defense, special teams. We all have to do better. That’s what you do. You take it from where you’re at and you find a way to improve.”

Trestman did try to show the Broncos different looks and used rookie tight end Maxx Williams as the fullback in the third quarter. Still, little worked against Denver. Look for Trestman to add more wrinkles heading into the game against Oakland in Week 2.

Meanwhile, Baltimore appears primed to maintain its high level of excellence on defense. The Ravens’ defenders were forced to deal hot and humid conditions in Denver as they were consistently left on the field by the struggling offense.

The Ravens defense allowed only 114 first half yards against Denver — the second-fewest in a first half by a Peyton Manning-led Broncos offense. Jimmy Smith intercepted Manning for a touchdown on the Broncos’ first drive of the second half that gave Baltimore its first lead, 10-9.

“It was a simple outbreak, outbreak and route. He kind of floated it up, so I thought I could probably jump over and see if I could get it,” Smith said. “That’s kind of what I did and tipped it to myself.”

Still, at the end of the day, the Ravens did not earn the victory. Now, they must travel to Oakland and try to avoid opening the season at 0-2.

“We don’t take moral victories,” linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. “[Manning] came out and his presence alone is always important. So, give them credit. Those guys came out and got the win. We’ve got to move on to next week versus Oakland. We’re excited for that.” The Ravens, however, will have to manage the rest of the year without linebacker Terrell Suggs, who tore his left Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter.

— Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract two seasons ago. As a result, he is expected to win tight games such as Sunday’s in Denver or playoff games against the New England Patriots even when the Ravens have a depleted secondary.

Against the Broncos, Flacco completed 18 of 32 passes for 117 yards with two costly interceptions that were the difference in the game. He had a rating of 13.1. It was one of the least productive performances in his career.

“We’ve got a lot to work on obviously,” Flacco said. “We’re a lot better than that. A pretty poor showing, but you got to keep your head up and you have to move on quick because in this league the next one comes up on top of you like that, so we’ve just got to make sure we stay confident and bounce back as soon as possible.” However, Flacco is playing under his fourth offensive coordinator in any many year, so there will be some inevitable hiccups.

The Ravens’ revamped secondary passed its first big test with flying colors. Baltimore held Peyton Manning to 175 yards passing and forced a turnover on an interception by Jimmy Smith that was returned for a 24-yard touchdown.

“I thought we had a great game plan coming into the game,” cornerback Kyle Arrington said. “[Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees] put us in great positions to be successful so we just tried to show them different looks the whole game and we tried to show pressure when we weren’t pressuring and tried to show pressure when we actually were pressuring so we made a few plays on that; credit goes all to Jimmy he made a heck of a play and capped it off in the end zone.”

Notes: Left tackle Eugene Monroe left the game with a concussion and his status for Oakland is uncertain. James Hurst was forced into playing left tackle when Monroe went down and Baltimore struggled to contain the Broncos’ outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. Hurst would make the start at LT again if Monroe is not available in Week 2 against Oakland.


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