Found October 15, 2012 on
San Diego Chargers
It may be an antiquated formula for most teams in the NFL today, but running the ball and playing great defense has been Baltimore's formula of success for the past decade. Not anymore. The Ravens are running the ball for an average of just over 112 yards per game while their defense ranks 26th in total yards and 26th against the rush. This may be unfamiliar statistical territory in Baltimore, but the only stat that really matters is their 5-1 record.
I give John Harbaugh a ton of credit for adapting to the demands of the league and scheming based on the ability of his players. He has one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL, but just because he is a running back doesn't mean that he has to take handoffs the entire game. Harbaugh isn't concerned with the amount of carries Ray Rice has at the end of the game, he is more concerned, if you can even call it that, with the total amount of touches. That obviously includes running plays, quick screens and any other receptions out of the backfield.
Yes, the Ravens are only averaging 112 yards on the ground, but their 385 total yards per game average ranks them ninth in the NFL. Combine that with the ninth-ranked scoring offense and it is hard to argue with their offensive success thus far. The other 272 of the total 385 yards comes through the air, and Ray Rice is a major component to that. Rice's 24 receptions is the third highest total on the team, and just four fewer than the team leader. Add those 24 receptions to his 97 carries and he is still averaging just above 20 touches per game ... right on target. So rather than criticize John Harbaugh for taking the ball out of his best offensive player's hands, you should praise him for finding creative ways to get him his touches.
It was no different on Sunday, Rice had a total of 17 touches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. It shouldn't really matter to you if it came in the form of a handoff or a reception. I can assure you that it doesn't matter to Harbaugh.
What's more concerning and separates this Ravens team from their predecessors is the inability to stop the run. For a decade, in a league in which anything can happen on a given Sunday, there was one bet you could always take to the bank: teams weren't going to run against the Ravens defense. Period.
Not so fast. Not this year. Use Sunday as an example. The Cowboys had managed just 128 yards rushing total in their last three games and were averaging just 67.8 per game for the entire season, they had 61 rushing yards after their first possession against the Ravens. Coming into the game, Felix Jones had only three total carries. He finished with a team-high 18 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens, coming off a game in which they surrendered 214 rushing yards to the Chiefs, gave up 227 yards rushing to the Cowboys -- the first time in franchise history they have yielded 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games.
Given the idea that most teams have scripted 10-20 offensive plays to start the game, you can safely assume that the Cowboys, even with their lack of success in their previous four games, were game-planning to run it right up the gut of the Ravens defense. They knew they would be successful running right through the gaps that Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis have historically so stoutly defended. And they were right. These weren't gimmick end-arounds and reverses; these weren't trap or counter plays; these weren't misdirection plays that caught the defense guessing. These were straight downhill running plays in which the Dallas Cowboys were simply more physical at the point of attack.
It's easy to blame Ray Lewis' age and the idea that he is an elderly man playing a young man's game, but he is just one man. And by the way, that one man just so happens to be the best that has ever played the position, so even if he is one or two steps slower this year, that is still one or two steps quicker than most middle linebackers that have ever played the game. It's easy to blame the injuries to Haloti Ngata as he has dealt with chronic hamstring, knee, and shoulder issues. It is easy to blame losing Terrell Suggs for the first half of the season to a freak offseason basketball injury. It is easy to blame the free-agency losses of Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding to the Chargers and Colts.
It is easy to blame all of those things, but blaming any one person or any combination of players won't fix the problem. Adversity introduces a man, or in this case, a team, to itself. Lardarius Webb's season-ending ACL injury and reports that Ray Lewis may be out for the season with a triceps injury pile on even more adversity. But through it all, the Ravens still remain 5-1 and still maintain a full two-game lead over the second-best team in the division.
BEST OF MAXIM
Ravens tailback Ray Rice had 90 yards from scrimmage in the first half (47 rushing, 43 receiving) on 12 touches, but once again didn't see the ball in the second half and finished with 106 totals yards.Fantasy Spin:Rice punched in two touchdowns, but his week could have been much better if the Ravens had stuck to the ground game. Seventeen touches is not enough.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will miss the remainder of the season with an arm injury, an enormous blow to an already depleted defense that has uncharacteristically struggled this year.
Lewis tore his right triceps during Sunday's 31-29 victory over Dallas. Cornerback Lardarius Webb also is out for the year after ripping the ACL in his left knee in the win against the Cowboys...
Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb left Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys with a sprained right knee.
Webb banged his knee in a first-quarter collision with Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Webb remained prone on the field for several minutes before being helped to the sideline.
Webb was immediately taken to the Ravens locker room to be examined, and the team revealed...
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, it looks like Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata suffered an MCL sprain during today’s win over the Cowboys.Ngata will likely undergo an MRI tomorrow to find out the extent of his injury. It’s not believe that he’ll be out very long.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Baltimore Ravens fear that cornerback Ladarius Webb has a torn ACL.There’s no doubt that Webb is the Ravens’ best cornerback, if they lose him, it would be a big blow to their defense.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones is one fast individual and he showed off his speed earlier today against the Dallas Cowboys.
Watch as Jones ties an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff touchdown return:
(Courtesy of Eye on Football/GIF courtesy of SB Nation)
As we go to post, it is the third quarter of the Cowboys fight against the surging Baltimore Ravens.
The big story coming out of that game is the injuries to first-round draft cornerback Morris Claiborne and his parallel for the Ravens Lardarius Webb
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Baltimore has had the ball all of one play in the third quarter, but that play was a 108-yard kickoff return from Jacoby Jones.
The kickoff return set a team record and tied an NFL record.
Dallas has kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown.
The Ravens are currently ahead 24-20.
The Baltimore Ravens are worried that a pair of key
defensive players, veteran linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb,
suffered significant injuries this weekend during the team’s win over the
Dallas Cowboys, reports Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
In the wake of another close
win, the Ravens fear that linebacker
Ray Lewis suffered a torn
During yesterday’s crushing loss to the Ravens, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant ended up dropping a pass that would have converted a two-point conversion, which would have tied the game.“I felt like it was a P.I. My opinion,” said Bryant, via the USA Today. “Not saying I couldn’t catch it, because I feel like I can make difficult catches. But I feel like he put his arm...
Not with a bang but a whimper. Is this the way Ray Lewis’ Hall of Fame career will end?
“Ray has a triceps tear,” said Ravens coach John...
The Patriots not only had a disappointing loss to the Seahawks yesterday, but they lost some players too. Brandon Bolden went out with a knee injury, Chung - shoulder, Slater - leg, Brandon Lloyd - shoulder. Not really any word on the severity of them, but I doubt any are season ending. That's more than you can say for the Baltimore Ravens.John harbaugh says lardarius webb out...
Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver 1. Matt Ryan vs. Oakland Arian Foster vs. Green Bay Percy Harvin vs. Washington 2. Peyton Manning vs. San Diego LeSean McCoy vs. Detroit Julio Jones vs. Oakland 3. Aaron Rodgers vs. Houston Ray Rice vs. Dallas Calvin Johnson vs. Philadelphia 4. Robert Griffin III vs. Minnesota Trent Richardson vs. … Continue reading »