Ravens Fail to Adjust to Colts Defense, Go 1 for 11 on 3rd Down


Oct 5, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Baltimore 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption.  Today we discuss the Ravens lack of success on 3rd and 4th down, the team’s failure to adjust to the Colts defense, and why John Harbaugh doesn’t care who his starting running back is.

John Harbaugh doesn’t care who starts at running back

John Harbaugh was asked on Monday whether he preferred a hot hand approach at running back, or if he would rather stick with one featured runner.  His response was interesting, to say the least.

“I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter,” Harbaugh said. “I just want yards. I want us to be averaging 4.5 to 5 yards per carry, and 5 yards a carry is what will lead the league. To do that, we have to rip off some long runs. And let’s be good with three different guys. That’s what we need to do.”

Justin Forsett has been the most effective back in this offense, no doubt.  And to Harbaugh’s credit, all three seem like they can carry the load.  The biggest problem from what we can see is that they aren’t running enough.  When you are moving the ball on the ground at a crisp 6.0 yards per carry, why not ride that train to victory?

Ravens woes on 3rd and 4th down

Part of the problem Sunday was the limited number of opportunities the offense had to make plays, largely because they couldn’t convert on third down.  The Ravens were a terrible 1 for 11 on 3rd downs and missed out on a field goal Sunday after they failed to convert on 4th down.

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With Dennis Pitta on IR and Steve Smith locked down in Vontae Davis’ coverage, Joe Flacco had a hard time finding anybody else open in these critical situations on Sunday.  Add in the struggles of Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, and it’s clear the team sorely needs other guys to step up.

Flacco cites lack of adjustments on offense

Another problem the Ravens offense had on Sunday is one that they created themselves, according to Joe Flacco.  Flacco says that the team failed to adjust to the Colts defense, which was consistently blitzing.  The Ravens failed to take advantage of the open spots that were left in the defense.

“When they come after us, there was a spot to go with the ball and we weren’t quite able to make those plays,” Flacco said. “You got to credit those guys for having the confidence to come after it and cover in the back end and do their thing. We wished we could have hurt them a little bit more because hey did come after us a little bit and you want to take advantage of that.”