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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Observation deck: Ravens-Falcons

By Jamison Hensley


The struggles of the Baltimore Ravens' starting offense this preseason has led to interceptions, three-and-outs and even a shouting outburst by running back Ray Rice.

Before the Ravens' backups rallied for a 27-23 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons, Joe Flacco and the offense provided another instance in which Baltimore misses its top two tight ends (Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are injured) and has yet to find a No. 2 wide receiver.

In five drives in the first half, the Ravens managed 131 yards of total offense and three first downs. Take away Torrey Smith's 77-yard touchdown -- the only highlight for the first-team offense in three quarters of play this preseason -- and Baltimore had 54 yards in the first half.

Flacco finished 7-of-9 for 118 yards, but the Ravens were 1-of-5 on third downs in the first half. Flacco's second interception of the preseason came when he forced a pass to Jacoby Jones, who was double covered on that play.

Rice didn't have much running room and was held to 10 yards on eight carries. When he was dropped 4 yards in the backfield late in the second quarter, a visibly upset Rice shouted as he headed to the sideline.

"That's about as bad as we can play," coach John Harbaugh told WBAL Radio while coming off the field at halftime, when the Ravens trailed 20-7.

In three quarters this preseason (eight total drives), the Ravens' starting offense has produced one touchdown, two turnovers (both interceptions) and three three-and-outs.

"We were just sloppy," Flacco said. "We never got into a rhythm."

Here are some other thoughts on the Ravens: