- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Baltimore Ravens had to feel good about how the early Sunday afternoon games went. The Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers all lost, which means the Ravens are tied for first in the winless AFC North. But the receiver-needy Ravens had to cringe later in the day when jettisoned Anquan Boldin recorded 208 yards receiving and one touchdown for the 49ers. Quite a range of emotions for a team not playing Sunday. Here's your Wake-up caw ...
Right tackle Michael Oher isn't expected to miss significant time after leaving the season opener in the second quarter with an ankle injury, CBS Sports reported. Oher and the Ravens could benefit from playing on Thursday and getting 10 days to rest before playing the Browns. This is great news for the Ravens, who struggled with rookie Rick Wagner at right tackle.
The Ravens are scheduled to work out tight end Jake Ballard on Monday, which was first reported by FoxSports. I understand that Dallas Clark looked awful in the season opener, but I'm not sure Ballard will do much better. Ballard was cut 10 days ago by the Patriots -- the one team that needs tight ends more than the Ravens. He didn't catch a pass in the preseason, and ESPN's Mike Reiss wrote that Ballard "didn't always appear to be running well." Ballard didn't play all last year because he was recovering from a serious knee injury. This indicates that the Ravens clearly aren't happy with their current tight ends, and for good reason.
John Eisenberg, of the team's official website, believes coach John Harbaugh is going to have to earn that new salary from his contract extension.
Clifton Brown of Comcast SportsNet feels the Ravens need to focus more on the running game. "The Ravens’ commitment to the running game went out the window in Denver, and it hurt them," Brown wrote. "Even before the game got out of hand, the Ravens fell in love too much with the pass." I'm going to double check to see if that was Clifton Brown or Ray Rice who wrote that.
Ray Lewis made an impressive debut on ESPN, according to The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik. "After three hours of watching Lewis and his new TV teammates, I am here to tell you he had an outstanding debut," Zurawik wrote. "One week in, he is already better than two-thirds of the ex-NFL-players drawing paychecks as TV analysts. ESPN has itself a winner -- a big-time winner -- in Lewis. And he's going to be one of the best in the business before long."