But it was a thoroughly enjoying game, despite the 14-point loss. Some thoughts:
Missing Cassel and Flowers (#1 CB) was huge. They went after Leggett, Flowers replacement, early and often. When we get them back we should be better.
Last year we were 2-14, but were in most games at the end. Likewise today. So on that front, it's difficult to get to excited about playing the Ravens closely, just because we did that to a lot of teams last year and still ended up with the #3 pick.
We had a semblance of a pass rush on a few plays. An improvement, even though Flacco really had a ton of time on most plays.
We got a great play on special teams (blocked punt for TD), defense (70-yard INT return) and offense (50-yard rec by Bradley) which lead to a 53-yard field goal by Mr. Irrelevant.
That field goal was huge tying the game at 17-17.
To that point our defense had played good enough. We even got a gutsy effort by Gonzalez's replacement on a TD to tie it at 24.
And we had no turnovers, and few penalties.
We looked like a competitive football team for the most part.
The defense got exposed at the end, but they also dominated TOP. In the future, if our offensive does better in the first half (we basically had 30 yards) maybe the D won't be so gassed in the 4th.
If I were to rank today's game compared to the last couple season-openers, it's better than the Texan's drubbing, the terrible Bengals incident, and even better than last year's close game against Cassel's Pats.