Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a field day, connecting on 27 of 36 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns, a pick and a 102.3 passer rating. Baltimore also gave up 5.3 yards a carry. The Ravens averaged 7.5 yards per offensive play.
The Jaguars were missing starting cornerback Derek Cox and starting outside linebacker Daryl Smith. While we can say the defensive problems were a bad night for Jacksonville and a good night for Baltimore, I’m also left wondering if the Jaguars are in trouble depth-wise if they are down a few key guys.
Offensively, they didn’t start as well as they had in the two prior preseason games. Their first four drives produced three first downs and 63 yards.
But Blaine Gabbert posted reasonable numbers – 11 for 21 for 117 yards, one sack and no TDs or picks. Rashad Jennings had some good runs. But most encouraging was Justin Blackmon. The rookie receiver was targeted eight times and pulled in four balls for 72 yards. His strength was on full display and he looks like a guy who will be an immediate force.
On to coverage from people who were there:
The Ravens provided the Jaguars with a reality check, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. It was the defensive failures against Flacco that were most alarming.
“All that preseason goodwill the Jaguars had built up received a cold slap in the face Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium, reminding Mike Mularkey’s team that improvement sometimes involves taking a big step backwards,” says Gene Frenette of the Florida Times Union.
How the Jaguars respond to this will tell us how important it was, says John Oehser of the team’s web site.