Offense vs. Defense: Which Side Of The Ball Has Looked Best For The Ravens So Far?Posted on August 14, 2014 by Jeremy Herskovic
Most of Ravens nation was ecstatic after the Ravens’ 23-3 route of the 49ers at home on Friday, and for good reason. Both units looked solid at all levels (First team, second team, etc.), and guys on both sides of the ball helped secure or at least vouch for a roster spot. In a speculative, ravens-on-ravens segment, let’s take a look at which side, offense or defense, had a better outing against the 9ers.
Offense: Flacco’s only drive was a beauty, 80-yards into the endzone, 5 passes, 5 runs, where each pass was completed to a different pass catcher. When he sat, backup Tyrod Taylor experienced this same success against a league-renowned defense packed with talent. The wide receivers had a great outing with Jeremy Butler logging a touchdown and Kamar Aiken pulling in some clutch catches. The runningbacks tore up the 49ers defense headlined by 4th-round rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (who the 49ers commentator commonly referred to as “Talifer”). Ryan Jensen struggled, AQ and Gino showed why their starting spots were surrendered, and surprisingly, Eugene Monroe had a tough time with the Outside Linebackers, but other than that, the O-lines opened up wholes everywhere and kept Flacco, Taylor, and Wenning upright for most of the game.
Defense: The starting defensive line had some trouble against the upper-echelon 49ers offensive line, and Chykie Brown was called for 2 holding calls in his first 2 plays. Rookie CJ Mosley ended his debut with 5 tackles and a sack, and even though he was easily pushed out of some plays, shows a flexibility and coachability that you can only hope for in these first few games. 2nd round pick Timmy Jernigan didn’t make any huge plays, but played long and gave the guards and tackles he frequented quite the handful. If he can keep going, he, Ngata, and Williams should make a deadly trio upfront. The secondary continues to be a weak spot, though Matt Elam showed the tenacity he is known for, and Asa Jackson and Dominique Franks both came up with picks, crucial as both look to advance themselves up/onto the roster. Late in the game, Terrence Brooks played well opposite Omar Brown and Brandyn Trawick, and some of the undrafted linemen played well up front, logging one sack and plenty of stuffs.
A great outing by both sides, but I’d say the offense won the day. Yes, the defense forced three turnovers (DeAngelo Tyson forced and recovered a fumble), and kept the explosive 49ers offense to just 3 points, but they showed more promise than prowess. I’m excited to see what this defense grows into over the next few weeks, but the Ravens’ offense showed both promise and prowess as they pounded and threw the ball with multiple receivers, runningbacks, offensive lines and quarterbacks. As the first team plays more, we’ll be able to gain a better perspective of which unit is actually dominating, but all indications from camp and the one game we have to watch over and over again leads me to side with the offense.