Notebook: Ravens Look To Build On Dominant Performance

Baltimore opens as 13.5 favorites over Cardinals

The film didn't lie.

John Harbaugh had few complaints after reviewing the tape of the Ravens dominant 59-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the regular-season opener.

Nonetheless, the coaches and players will not spend the week patting themselves on the back.

There is always room for improvement heading into the home opener against the Arizona Cardinals, who opened as 13.5-point underdogs.

“No question. It was really good, but there are many things to work on," Harbaugh said. "That goes hand-in-hand. It’s not one or the other, as you know. It’s an opportunity to improve. It’s an ever-changing environment. The things that we did well, people are going to do whatever they can do to stop. We have to stay ahead of that. Our execution has to stay ahead of that. We’ll be seeing new schemes, different players, all of those kinds of things.

"But in the big picture, the execution was very good, but it’s going to need to be a lot better going forward."

The offense played flawlessly, racking up franchise records for points (59), total yards (643), margin of victory (49) and points in a half (42).

Lamar Jackson threw for a career-high 324 passing yards with five touchdowns,. Rookie Marquise Brown shined in his debut with four receptions for 147 yards and two long touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews had a game-high eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.

The defense allowed just 21 yards on the ground.

The goal now is to replicate the performance against the Cardinals.

"You make your biggest improvement, generally, we always say, between the first and second anything," Harbaugh said. "In this case, between the first and second game, we expect to make our biggest improvement that way, operationally. We’ll really strive for that and work hard for that this week.”

Jimmy Smith Out For Several Weeks

The depth of the Ravens secondary is already being tested.

Nickleback Tavon Young is already sidelined with a neck injury.

Veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith suffered a Grade 2 knee sprain against the Dolphins.

While Young's future this season is uncertain, Smith is expected to be back in the lineup.

“It’ll be multiple weeks. He has a Grade 2 sprain in there, so it’s not going to be a season-ender by any stretch,” Harbaugh said. “How many weeks it is? That depends on how fast it heals, so we’ll see going forward.”

Smith was injured the first quarter after colliding with inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor. Smith was helped off the field and later returned to the sideline in street clothes.

Anthony Averett, a fourth-round pick from Alabama in 2018, took Smith's spot in the lineup and performed well. Averett will hold onto that role while Smith is out.

"[Averett] did well. He got his legs under him a little bit," Harbaugh said. "He had been playing a lot of special teams. It was hot. Once he got his sea legs, he really played well. [He played] tight coverage, and he did a good job. I was happy with him.”

Bozeman Secures Starting Spot At Left Guard

The Ravens didn't reveal the their starting left guard until the offense took the field against the Dolphins.

Bradley Bozeman, a sixth-round pick from Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft, got the nod and performed well. Lamar Jackson was sacked just once and the o-line paved the way for 265 yards rushing.

Bozeman will get the start again Week 2 against the Cardinals.

"Bradley played really well and justified the fact that he was in there as a starter at left guard,” Harbaugh said.

Monitoring Jackson's Run

There was talk this offseason that the Ravens wanted to limit how man times quarterback Lamar Jackson ran the ball to avoid potential injuries.

Jackson had just three carries for six yards against Miami.

However, Harbaugh said the individual games will dictate how much Jackson runs. There is no specified restrictions on how much the second-year quarterback will run the ball.

"If they allow Lamar to run, he’s going to run," Harbaugh said. "They didn’t. They were taking it away, for sure. It was part of their plan not to allow him to run. If people decide that that’s going to be the way it’s going to go, he’s not going to run. That’s the way the offense is organized. So, we’re not worried about it at all.”

Comments (2)
No. 1-1
J Hager
J Hager

Lamar showed that he can throw the ball way better than he did last year. This is scary for opposing defense's as he is now a real dual threat quarterback. Gives me flashbacks of Mike Vick.