Smith: Ravens 'got to play better and be grown men'

Baltimore Ravens fans haven't seen their team dip to 0-2 in more than a decade.

It last happened in 2005, when coach Brian Billick juggled between Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright under center for a squad that fizzled out at 6-10.

The Ravens have been one of the AFC's most consistent outfits since, but Sunday's stunning 37-33 loss to the Raiders in Oakland left coach John Harbaugh with one simple explanation.

"We got outplayed and we got outcoached," Harbaugh said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic, after Baltimore gave up an outrageous 448 yards of offense, the most the Ravens have allowed since Peyton Manning threw for seven scores and led his Broncos to 510 total yards in the 2013 season opener.

"It's always challenging when you don't have any wins," said safety Will Hill. "The head of the organization is going to come down on the head coach, and the head coach is going to come down on the players, so we all got to be ready for the storm."

Said wideout Steve Smith: "We don't have a choice. Our dates are set and we got to show up. We can't pack it in, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We got to play better and be grown men."

The growth must come quick with a trio of division showdowns ahead. The Ravens host the Bengals, visit the Steelers and welcome in the Browns over the next three weeks. A loss to 2-0 Cincinnati would put the Ravens effectively 3 1/2 games down in the AFC North. Baltimore then makes back-to-back trips to the West Coast against San Francisco and Arizona, rounding a doozy of an early-season slate.

These winless Ravens face two core issues: A lack of playmakers on offense and a defense that sorely misses pass rusher Terrell Suggs.

Flacco took more shots downfield and put up 493 total yards against the Raiders, but Oakland's defense -- after missing 18 tackles -- is no acid test. Marc Trestman's attack floundered against a top-flight Broncos defense in Week 1.

How important is showing up and beating the Bengals? Only three of the 124 teams that have started the season 0-3 since 1990 have made the playoffs, per's Jamison Hensley.

With Harbaugh coaching and Ozzie Newsome pulling the strings, we trust in Baltimore to turn it around. But their wiggle room to do so is fading with every week.

On to Cincinnati.

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