They don't call the Skins the Offseason Champions for nothing. Thursday night's 23-0 shellacking by the Ravens probably shouldn't have anyone hitting the panic button, but... OH NO!!!!
Here's the list of everything that went right in yesterday's game:
1) Hunter Smith had a hell of a punting game.
That's about it.
Smith, who the Skins signed from the high-flying Colts, rarely saw the field with Indy. Supposedly he punted just nine times all pre-season last year. He booted that many in just the first game with his new offense, causing him to say he's a "little tired."
So what to make of the rest of the game? The offense moved the ball 196 yards. The first-team offense couldn't get the ball in the end zone in its two series: one a six-play drive, the other a three-and-out. The defense hemorrhaged yards, giving up about five football fields worth, and a bunch of long drives.
Still, Coach Zorn was totally medium, saying that "[t]his will be a tremendous tool for us to use."
What's the lesson there? "Don't get your butts handed to you, boys!"?
If you want to look at a bright side, the offensive line wasn't a complete mess against the Ravens first-team defense. Jason Campbell mostly had time to do what he needed to do, which is a good sign. Campbell even said that he thought the line gave him good protection.
Despite that, Campbell's efforts were undone by some shoddy work by receivers. Marques Hagans ended one of Campbell's drives when he couldn't hang on to a pass. Sophomore tight end Fred Davis also fumbled twice.
The Skins really need at least one of their younger receivers to break out and give them high-level production. On that, Zorn had praise for Malcom Kelly and Devin Thomas: "They both did a nice job of getting open and snagging the ball and making plays. They are both big targets and helped move the offense down the field."
One player whose stock slipped a bit was Colt Brennan, which definitely won't please the Cult of Colt (or they'll find an excuse to explain it away). Brennan was picked off and was just 4-of-12 in his short time on the field against the Ravens backups' backups.
In Colt's defense, it was at the point in the game where the Skins basically abandoned the run (not that they were effective in the first place), allowing the Ravens defense to practice their blitzes and stunts, all in the hopes of de-meloning a QB. With the bottom of the Skins offensive line depth chart on the field, Colt didn't have much of a chance.
It was a downer of a game, but at least Skins fans can walk away, confident in their punter.