-- In the moments following the Baltimore Ravens' 20-3 season-opening loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, players talked about the critical errors that were made. On Monday, they had to watch them on film, which may have been worse.
"It was kind of like I was hiding behind my hands," guard Edwin Mulitalo said of watching the game film. "I did some good things, I did some bad things. The mood is just we wish we could have done this or that different."
That seemed to be the theme Monday as the Ravens assessed what went wrong as they were upset by the Browns, and took stock of a handful of injuries to key players.
Nose tackle Kelly Gregg had arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee Monday and will be sidelined about two weeks, Coach Brian Billick said at his weekly news conference. Gregg, a three-year starter, had been playing with the injury for some time, and the Ravens were hopeful that he could wait until the bye week (Oct. 17) to have surgery.
The offensive line took another hit with the news that tackle Ethan Brooks sprained his right medial collateral ligament against the Browns and will be out for a couple of weeks. Starting center Mike Flynn is still recovering from a broken collarbone, but Billick said that he's optimistic that Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who missed Sunday's game with a sprained left knee, will be available to practice Wednesday.
Wide receiver Travis Taylor underwent an MRI exam on his groin, which he aggravated early in Sunday's game. Billick said that the injury may be more serious than the original pull, which occurred in training camp.
In many ways, Sunday's game against the Browns seemed to play out as "a game in reverse," in Billick's words.
A year ago, the Ravens were the team that would break open a tight game with a blocked punt or an interception return for a touchdown or a long run from running back Jamal Lewis.
On Sunday, Cleveland burned Baltimore's secondary on two long pass plays that led to 10 points in the second half, errors that Billick attributed to miscommunication. The defense didn't come up with a turnover, something that happened only three times last season (all Baltimore losses). And Lewis, who hurt the Browns with big runs in 2003, didn't have a run of longer than nine yards.
Getting big runs from Lewis "is a big part of what we do," Billick said. "It changes the equation of the game. We're used to it. It's no different than the big pass that you expect from the great receiver and the quarterback. It's a tight margin for error, and it's an awful tough game to not get big plays either special teams or offensively, no matter how you play defensively, no matter what you cover on special teams."
Second-year quarterback Kyle Boller completed 22 of 38 passes for 191 yards, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Boller hadn't attempted that many passes since the 2003 opener, when he threw 43, completing 22, in a 34-15 loss at Pittsburgh.
The Ravens had more passing attempts than rushing attempts (24), and Lewis carried the ball only 20 times for 57 yards. Over the past three seasons, the Ravens are 2-10 when Lewis gets 20 or fewer carries. Lewis had only 15 carries in the 2003 season opener.
"It is the same approach that we took [going into] the second game [against Cleveland in 2003], they were going to do the same things and their focus was to simply tackle better, and they did," Billick said. "We did not block and run as well. . . . Clearly, this was not like the opener last year, where we simply did not run the ball enough or didn't attempt to run the ball enough."
Ravens Note: Tackle Orlando Brown's mother, Catherine, died late last week, and funeral services will be held Tuesday in Washington. Brown, a graduate of H.D. Woodson High, missed parts of training camp and three preseason games to be with his ailing mother, a former junior high school teacher in Washington.