Baltimore Ravens Offense Ranked 24th by ESPN, PFF
By Brett Foote
Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) reacts after making a 55 yard field goal against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens offense ranked in the top ten in 2011 and 2012, but fell completely in the gutter in 2013, all the way down to a bottom 5 rating. To remedy the situation, they had an active offseason. The team brought in zone read guru Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator, signed Steve Smith and Owen Daniels in free agency, retooled their offensive line, and rounded up a number of wide receivers and running backs to compete for roster spots. For a Baltimore Ravens offense that ranked so low last season, the team did just about everything it could to get better on paper.
The initial results were on display last Thursday night as the offense hummed along en route to a 23-3 drubbing of last seasons NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers. The first team looked especially sharp as Joe Flacco connected with a different receiver on each throw, and the run game picked up chunks of yardage with ease. It may be early, but all of the arrows are pointing up for the Ravens offense so far.
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While the rest of the world is high on the Raven’s offensive prospects this season, it appears that stat gurus Pro Football Focus, along with ESPN, didn’t get the memo. PFF ranked all 32 NFL offenses in a recent piece (warning: pay wall), placing the Ravens at number 24. PFF cited Joe Flacco’s inconsistency from game to game, along with the unproven offensive line, as the reasoning behind their low ranking.
We don’t blame people for sleeping on this offense after their abysmal performance last season, or for doubting that they can improve significantly after the team didn’t make any big splashes in the offseason in regards to the offensive line. But we are personally having a hard time figuring out what 23 teams we think will have more offensive production in 2014. There are obvious ones, like the Saints and Broncos (numbers one and two, of course). But 23 teams out of 32?
What do you think about PFF’s rankings, and where would you rank the Ravens among all 32 teams?