2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens seek cure for inconsistent offense

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-16 13:04

BALTIMORE (AP) - With three weeks left before the start of the regular season, the Baltimore Ravens are still searching for production and consistency from their first-team offense.

The starting unit produced only three first downs and 13 yards rushing Thursday night in a preseason game against Atlanta. A 77-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith was the lone highlight from an offense that last season was the strength of the Super Bowl champions.

Baltimore(2-0) beat the Falcons 27-23 after the backups scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. The victory, however, did not erase the fact that only one of six drives with Flacco on the field lasted more than three plays.

``We were sloppy, and we didn't run a lot of plays because of that,'' Flacco said. ``We were just unable to get into a rhythm. You love the one-play touchdown drives, but at the same time, it would have been nice to get a little bit of a rhythm.''

Getting running back Ray Rice on track would have helped. Rice gained 10 yards on eight carries, with eight of those yards coming on one attempt.

``We definitely need to get better, but it's the preseason. All 32 teams are working on things,'' Rice said. ``We're just trying to execute and get better week-by-week.''

Granted, the Ravens were without Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda, who only recently returned to practice after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. Backup running back Bernard Pierce (knee) was also absent, as was newly signed tight end Dallas Clark. In addition, newcomer Brandon Stokley got in for only a few plays as he continues to get acclimated to the offense.

Against Atlanta, however, the offense's problems began on the second play when center A.Q. Shipley - who's fighting for the starting job against Gino Gradkowski - received a 15-yard penalty for a hands-to-the-facemask violation.

The second series was the Smith touchdown, and the third series was three Rice runs and a punt. That set the tone for a long night.

``It wasn't great fundamental football, by any stretch,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ``We didn't run block real well, so we couldn't get the run game going. Then, the penalties and field position really hurt us. If you don't get the first first down, I'm not sure how you're ever going to get rhythm, and we were never really able to get the first first down early on.''

There's no reason to panic - yet. The team will have another week of practice before taking on Carolina at home next Thursday night.

``We're going to go back out there and put a lot of good work in,'' Flacco said. ``That's what we're going to do, and it's going to go well. That's how we're used to doing it.''

The Carolina game will be important because the starters will play into the third quarter and probably won't participate in the preseason finale at St. Louis. It will likely be the last chance for the offense to iron out its problems and for Shipley and Gradkowski to show their skills in the duel to replace the retired Matt Birk.

Shipley acknowledged that his penalty set the tone for what followed.

``Part of it was my penalty on the first play. It started us off pretty bad,'' he said. ``We couldn't get ourselves in a rhythm. We have to play better.''

That seemed to be the sentiment after a victory that really didn't feel like one.

``We kind of beat ourselves with penalties and certain miscues, and it's tough to play from behind,'' Smith said. ``When you're not playing many plays it's tough to recover from that, but we'll be fine. We know what the mistakes were that we made, and you can't make penalties, so obviously we need to correct that.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

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Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

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