Can A Sparked Rushing Attack Save the Ravens Season?
Getting Back To Ravens Football:
Last week Terrance West got it going. The former Towson walk on had 21 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. This week the Ravens should be getting back Kenneth Dixon. Now, that is exciting news.
Now, we should note that the run game’s resurgence is still in question. The Raiders are an incredible team this year but their run defense is far from a strength. Baltimore has gotten rid of Justin Forsett, who had been ineffective early in the season. If the Ravens have a component of their team about to take off, it has to be the running game.
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It seems like the biggest problem is getting off schedule. If first and second down don’t go well and you don’t let it rip on third down (cough, cough Trestman) third down is a bad place to be. Running the football with some consistent and exciting power will set up more manageable third downs.
It’s been a pass happy team. Joe Flacco has attempted 170 passing attempts, while he has handed it off just 93 times. Joe Flacco also has 11 rushing attempts. If you don’t count Joe’s runs (mostly scrambles) Marc Trestman has called a passing play on just over 64 percent of the time.
The disproportionate number of passing plays actually has some justification. The Ravens offense has gotten off to a slow start in each of their games this season. Against the Browns, the purple and black had to overcome a 20-2 deficit in the first quarter. Secondly, the run blocking has been as problematic and puzzling as any offensive problem.
When things aren’t going the right way it is easy to hide in excuses. Marc Trestman has some built in excuses here. The problem is that the running game is something that has to be established early and often. The running game is something that has to be a total commitment. Baltimore has to go in the game knowing that the offensive linemen are going to be human plows and the running backs are going to be straight up play-makers.