Caldwell: Ravens ready to right the ship
Not too many things went right for Jim Caldwell in his first game calling plays for the Ravens.
Quarterback Joe Flacco committed two first-half turnovers that cost them 10 points en route to a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos.
"We have to certainly get better and straighten some things out and see if we can perform more consistently," Caldwell said. He replaced Cam Cameron, who was fired almost two weeks ago in his fifth season. "We were up and down last week."
This Sunday, the Ravens face the New York Giants with both teams feeling they’re in must-win situations.
The Ravens (9-5) already have clinched a playoff berth, but they need to win another game to claim the AFC North. The Giants (8-6) are in a three-way tie in the NFC East where nothing has been decided.
Flacco moved the ball well on Baltimore’s first drive under Caldwell but inexplicably fumbled on a 3rd-and-1 sneak past midfield. Flacco never got going, and even though he passed for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns, those statistics came when the game was out of reach.
Ray Rice only had 12 carries for 38 yards and was a non-factor. His three catches were for just three yards. Flacco’s primary receivers, Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, combined for one catch for 14 yards.
Smith (concussion) left the game in the third quarter and whether or not he’ll be cleared to play this week depends on passing the baseline tests mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.
Caldwell’s task doesn’t get easier with the defending Super Bowl champion Giants, though he expects if the Ravens' offense doesn't perform well it won't be because they're not on the same page.
"Our communication was OK," said Caldwell, who still serves as quarterbacks coach and had never called plays in the NFL until last week. "Nothing was great. ... We didn't have any real problems."