Ravens Talk – 5 Things I’m Thinking
The Ravens’ first trip to Wembley Stadium ended in a 44-7 beat-down to the Jacksonville Jaguars, tied for the worst defeat in Ravens’ history. Here are 5 things I’m thinking heading into next weeks showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Coaching Needs To Improve
Of course the players’ deserve plenty of blame for missing tackles and assignments, but the coaching staff deserve blame as well. What happened to committing to the run? It seemed like right out of the gate the Ravens had a game plan in place to sling the ball around and get Mike Wallace involved, getting away from what they did well the past two weeks. I understand you want to get your disgruntled playmaker some touches, but its not what the Ravens are good at. Run the ball, move the pocket, and play action. Why did they get away from that?
Defensively, Dean Pees continued to rush four defenders every down. It’s clear the Ravens weren’t getting to the quarterback with a four-man rush so why not send some extra defenders and trust in your heavily invested secondary to do their job?
One thing is clear, for whatever reason this Raven’s coaching staff struggles to make in game adjustments and it’s one of the most frustrating things to watch.
Offensive Line Shuffle Continues
Stanley-Hurst-Jensen-Skura-Howard. I’m certain that’s not how the Ravens envisioned their offensive line playing out when the season started, but that’s their current reality. The Ravens were shuffling Matt Skura and Jermaine Eluemunor at right guard trying to get Flacco protected. This offensive line is bad and it’s up to the coaches to game plan around it. This offense isn’t going to blow the top of off teams with this offensive line protecting Flacco and now’s a good time to ditch that game plan. More tight end heavy sets and less empty backfields would be welcomed.
Have We Seen The Best Of Joe Flacco?
Joe Flacco was bad and you can blame it on his offensive line, the lack of a run game, his back injury or whatever else you’d like. All of that may be true, but reality is Joe Flacco is not a great quarterback. Some may say I’m wrong, and that’s ok, but he lacks awareness, he’s tentative, he can’t handle pressure, he’s too quick to check down, and his accuracy his inconsistent. I hope I’m wrong and he’ll probably produce a handful of good games over the coming weeks, but we may have seen the best of Flacco.
Marlon Humphrey Impresses
Every cloud has a silver lining and that would be the play of Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey was challenged often while on the field but stood up to the test. He showed great ability to find and make a play on the ball, something Ravens cornerbacks have struggled with in the past.
Alex Collins Needs More Carries
Collins carried nine times for 82 yards and is making a case for more carries. Although he did most of his damage in garbage time, he runs hard and explosive and may be just what the Ravens need to wake up this offense in next week’s divisional game.
Moving On To Next Week…
Yes, the Ravens were blown out but they have an opportunity to sit atop the AFC North and record their third straight divisional win if they are able to defeat the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium next Sunday.