"We're a young football team," Flacco said when asked if he can pinpoint the reason for the Ravens' offensive inconsistency. "We're switching guys out and in up front. We need some time. Like I said, we got to win while we start gelling and we're really inconsistent right now. That's part of what's good about this. We're going to learn week-to-week and you'd like to learn while you're winning football games and thus far, we've done that. Just [Monday], we weren't able to do it. As the year goes on, we're going to get better and better. That's one of the upsides of this football team."
Flacco acknowledged that he expects a lot of the blame and finger-pointing to go in his direction, calling it the nature of his position. But it doesn't take much imagination or observation to conclude that the Ravens have other offensive issues.
With Lee Evans out, the Ravens have been forced to rely on a young group of pass catchers. Tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are second-year players. Torrey Smith and LaQuan Williams — the Ravens' second and third receivers — are rookies, while No.4 receiver David Reed is also a second-year player.
When Flacco had time Monday, he often was forced to dump the ball off or throw into a tight space because the Ravens' receivers weren't consistently getting open and Boldin was getting double-teamed. Then, there were other times where Flacco just didn't have time to throw or was hit soon after he did, adding to the Ravens' offensive woes.
While many of his assistants spent the day planning for the Cardinals, Harbaugh looked at the offense, which he described as "wildly inconsistent." That's a process that will continue throughout the week as the outside scrutiny on Cameron, Flacco and the rest of the offense builds.
"It's warranted for all of us," Harbaugh said. "I think we all deserve to have fingers pointed at us when the offense plays like that. That's tough. It's just a bad performance and everyone knows it. Cam's got broad shoulders. He's a tough guy. He's been doing this for a long time. Everybody in this building respects him. Everybody is going to fight harder to make this offense achieve what it is capable of achieving. It's still early in the season, but we can't afford more performances like that."
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