OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are looking forward to putting their season-opening struggles behind them.
The Ravens struggled on offense, had problems on defense, and they even had issues on special teams against the Denver Broncos.
Still, coach John Harbaugh reiterated Monday what his players emphasized after Thursday night’s loss: It’s only one game.
“All these games count in the long run, but it’s early,” Baltimore outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “I don’t think anyone needs to jump to any conclusions after the first game.
“It’s a long season. We’re going to play it out. They’re going to play it out. But ain’t no panic button, no worries. We’ve got some things we need to fix and tighten up obviously. But do we go in the tank? Is the whole season in the drain? No. It’s one game. All this game tells us is that we’re not going 16-0.”
Aside from the on-field performance, Baltimore has to deal with injuries to two significant offensive contributors.
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones sprained his knee on a first half punt return and right tackle Michael Oher sprained his ankle during a second quarter touchdown run. Oher could possibly play this week against the Cleveland Browns, but Jones is likely to miss several weeks.
The Ravens re-signed wide receiver Tandon Doss Monday to help pick up the offensive slack while Jones is sidelined.
Doss was a fourth-round pick of Baltimore in 2011. He entered this summer this summer expected to compete with Jones for the starting receiver job opposite Torrey Smith, but he struggled during training camp and the preseason, and he was released Aug. 31.
“It helps to have a guy that’s been here certainly,” Harbaugh said of Doss. “Bringing back someone like Tandon who knows the offense and is able to get right in and play for us. That’s a big plus for us, and we’re very fortunate that he was available for us.”
The Ravens hope that Doss can help an offense that had several issues against Denver.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 362 yards, but it took him 62 passes to do it.
The Ravens finished with 27 points, but nine of their first 11 offensive possessions that didn’t begin on Denver’s 1-yard line ended in either a punt or a turnover.
The defense also had its share of problems.
The Ravens have been enthusiastic about their new-look defense all summer, but Denver quarterback Peyton Manning shredded the defense for 462 passing yards and an NFL-record-tying seven touchdown passes.
Baltimore led 17-14 at halftime, but the Broncos outscored the Ravens 35-10 in the second half.
“We’re ticked off at ourselves,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not happy with the way we played, especially in critical situations. . But we also have to move forward from it emotionally and have got to prepare for the next challenge.”
That next challenge is the Browns.
“That’s the good thing. Football is week-to-week,” Baltimore cornerback Corey Graham said. “We have an opportunity to go out there this week and make up for what happened last week. We’re not feeling good about (last week), and I’m pretty sure this game couldn’t come fast enough. We just can’t wait, even to get out there and practice.
“There’s not too many times that you hear players say that they can’t wait to get to practice. But at this point, we can’t wait to get out there and practice and get this game behind us.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)