Ravens vs Raiders: Keys to Victory

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Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Key to victory #1: The running game must get back on track

According to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens had the NFL’s 25th ranked run blocking score of week 1.  So we know that the problem here can’t solely be blamed on the running backs, as this normally stellar offensive line lost the battle in the trenches against a stout Broncos’ defensive front.

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The problem is, neither Justin Forsett nor Buck Allen did anything to help either.  The Ravens also ranked 31st in rushing offense in week 1, with neither back creating any yards on their own.

But some of the blame can also be placed on playcaller Marc Trestman.  Out of 23 run plays called, the Ravens ran either middle left or middle right 15 times.

Their yards per carry average on those plays?  2.7, compared to 3.3 ypc everywhere else.  When running off left guard or off the right end they averaged a stout 7.7 ypc on 4 attempts.

The worst run blockers along the offensive line were center Jeremy Zuttah and right tackle Rick Wagner, both of whom have had injuries issues dating back to last year.

If there’s any takeaways from this analysis, it’s that there is plenty of blame to pass around for the lack of success on the ground.

Next: Key to victory #2

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