Ravens vs. Bengals: Keys to victory

4 of 4

Sep 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) scores a touchdown in past the reach of Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Key to victory #3: Get the running game going by whatever means necessary

The Ravens’ struggles on offense got a little better in week 2, but the running game is still not functioning as it should.  And make no bones about it, this is a team whose playoff hopes live and die with the run.  2013 is a perfect example of this.

More from Ebony Bird

While the offensive line deserves its fair share of the blame for the running game’s woes, the backs aren’t exempt from fault.  Good NFL running backs make things happen even when their line is struggling.  So far, Justin Forsett has not.

Perhaps the answer is to give more carries to newly healthy Lorenzo Taliaferro, who is the superior inside runner over the diminutive Forsett.  Taliaferro only saw 7 carries against the Raiders, but was more effective than Forsett (4.9 avg compared to 4.7 avg) and has the size and power to wear down defenses.

Forsett certainly isn’t finished, but he hasn’t proven that he can shoulder a big workload without Gary Kubiak’s tutelage.  The Ravens might be better off shifting roles and using Zo on early downs, with Forsett mixed in as a change of pace back and passing down specialist.

Next: Ravens schedule only getting harder

More from Ebony Bird