Will Ravens' pass protection improve in Week 2?

Will Ravens' pass protection improve in Week 2?
September 14, 2013, 7:00 am
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EARLY BIRD: Waking up Saturday with the Ravens, the day before their home opener against the Browns.

Two-minute topic: Can the Ravens’ offensive line protect Joe Flacco better than last week?

Joe Flacco was sacked four times against the Broncos. Part of the problem was that Flacco attempted a career-high 62 passes. But the Ravens’ offensive line didn’t have a good night, especially after Michael Oher departed in the second quarter with a sprained ankle.

Oher should be back in the lineup Sunday. However, the pass rush is one of the Browns’ strengths. Highly touted rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo is expected to make his NFL debut Sunday after missing Week 1 with a bruised lung. Mingo’s snaps may be limited, but the Browns will likely save him for obvious passing situations, hoping he can harass Flacco.

Even without Mingo, the Browns had four sacks against the Dolphins. Ex-Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger will be highly motivated to make life miserable for Flacco, and fellow outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard is also an excellent pass rusher.

“They have a very good front seven,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “They got a lot of heat last week. The stopped the run last week. In many ways you might say it’s the strength of their team right now. That will be a big challenge for us.”

When Flacco has time to throw, it usually leads to good things for the Ravens’ offense. Flacco was hit too much for the Ravens’ liking in Denver. We’ll see if their offensive line can change that Sunday.

Morning thought: "Our standards are high, we focus on getting better, and we expect to be better. We will be better, no question about that."

Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, on the Ravens' offense.

Hitting the Links

Clifton Brown on why the Ravens need to make a statement on Sunday

1st-and-10: Ten predictions for Sunday's Ravens-Browns game

WATCH: Yahoo's Kay Adams stop by SNC to talk fantasy football for Week 2

Injury Report: The rundown of injuries prior to Ravens-Browns