Some NFL experts picked the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC this season. They didn't look anything like a playoff team offensively in Week 1. The Ravens are 7-point favorites on NFL odds this Sunday.
Trestman's Offense Flops
Ask any Chicago Bears fan what they think of Marc Trestman. He was the team's head coach the previous two seasons before being fired. He looked like an offensive guru in 2013 but overmatched in 2014 and was fired. The Ravens hired him as their offensive coordinator to replace Gary Kubiak, who took the Denver head coaching job.
I'm not pinning the blame for Baltimore's Week 1 19-13 loss in Denver on Trestman, but that offense looked terrible. Joe Flacco was just 18-for-32 for 117 yards and two interceptions, while Justin Forsett, who got a big deal to re-sign this offseason, had only 43 yards on 14 carries. The Ravens had just 173 total yards on 57 plays, or 3.0 yards per play. They had 11 first downs and held the ball for 22:43. It marked the worst debut of any Ravens offensive coordinator. EVER.
Baltimore was the only NFL team in Week 1 that failed to crack 200 yards. Baltimore had the fewest net passing yards (100) and the eighth-fewest rushing yards (73). The Ravens were one of three offenses who didn't score a touchdown (the Broncos and Minnesota Vikings were the others). Baltimore's TD came on a Jimmy Smith 24-yard TD return.
Things get worse. Ravens' pass-rushing outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, one of the best in the business and sixth among active players in career sacks, was lost for the season to a torn Achilles' tendon. Courtney Upshaw is expected to replace Suggs as the starter. Upshaw has three sacks total in three seasons and did not record a single quarterback takedown last year. The Ravens also worked out outside linebackers Jason Babin and Shaun Phillips on Tuesday. Despite Suggs’ departure, the Ravens held Peyton Manning to just 175 passing yards and the Broncos to 219 total yards of offense. The run defense allowed just 2.8 yards per carry on 25 attempts.
It's not clear yet if left tackle Eugene Monroe will play vs. Oakland as he left the Broncos game with a concussion. Yeah, I don't think any Super Bowl contender had a worse Week 1.
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Raiders Waiting On Carr
It's also fair to say that no new head coach had a worse Week 1 than Oakland's Jack Del Rio. The Raiders, who many thought were starting to resemble a good young team, were clobbered 33-13 at home by Cincinnati. The Raiders lost starting QB Derek Carr to a hand injury in the second quarter and were held scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter.
Will Carr play Sunday? That's very up in the air. An MRI and X-rays on his injured thumb were negative so there's a realistic chance he can. Carr was injured when he tried to stiff-arm Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones. "Using his throwing hand as a straight-arm tool, I would probably not ask him to repeat that," Del Rio said. If Carr can't go, it will be Matt McGloin. He completed 23 of 31 passes for 142 yards, two touchdowns and one interception vs. the Broncos.
In a minor surprise vs. Cincinnati, new Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith played. The Raiders signed the former 49er last Friday and he played 29 snaps and recorded one quarterback hit -- the only hit the Raiders got on Bengals QB Andy Dalton.
The Raiders already were pretty weak in the secondary and it looks like they will be without two guys back there. Safety Nate Allen was placed on injured reserve/designated to return with a knee injury suffered against Denver. Strong safety Charles Woodson dislocated his shoulder.
Oakland is opening the season with two straight home games for the first time in 46 years. Del Rio was the linebackers coach for Baltimore from 1999-2001, helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV.
The Ravens are 6-1 all-time vs. the Raiders in the regular season. It's their first trip to Oakland -- and probably last with the Raiders likely moving to Los Angeles -- since 2009.
NFL Free Picks: The NFL odds obviously could change depending on Carr. Hard to picture the Ravens playing that poorly again. Take Baltimore and the 'under.' Oakland is 4-9 ATS in its past 13 at home. The 'under' is 5-1-1 in Baltimore's past seven. The 'under' is 7-3 Oakland's past 10 following a double-digit loss at home.