OWINGS MILLS — Even the Bad News Bears mustered a bit of scoring at times, rounding the bases at the exhortation of Walter Matthau.
Now, the Baltimore Ravens are hoping to revitalize their stagnant, underachieving offense.
Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason compared the Ravens’ offense to the Bad News Bears on Sunday night following their frustrating 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Days after making those derogatory comments, Mason isn’t backing off of his remarks.
“I’m not going to backtrack on what I said: At times, we’re not a good offense,” Mason said. “Everyone believes that, but we know we can correct that. We still have four games to get things right.”
Despite an offensive depth chart featuring several Pro Bowl skill players, the Ravens are ranked 14th in total offense with an average of 341.7 yards per contest.
The Ravens are averaging just 21.7 points per game to rank 17th in scoring.
Mason’s comments haven’t been met with disagreement in the locker room. He’s being viewed as the voice of honesty and reason.
“Everybody agreed,” Mason said. “How could you not agree with it? It’s obvious. I think everybody in this locker room pretty much saw it the same way. Some people chose not to say it, but, as you know, I’m not going to hold any punches. Everybody on this team is on the plane, everybody’s thinking the same.
“We just want to go out there and score a lot of points and get this thing corrected. If you don’t agree with it, you’re lying to yourself or you’re very sensitive to what someone says to you. You don’t have thick skin. You’re not trying to be held accountable for what you’re doing out there.”
The Ravens managed only 10 points against the Steelers, three points in the final three quarters.
They manufactured just 96 yards of total offense in the second half.
And the running game was abysmal, gaining 43 yards on 22 carries for a 2.2 average per carry.
“We’ve got to get things cranked up,” said fullback Le’Ron McClain, who was sidelined Sunday night with a sprained ankle. “We’re supposed to be averaging a lot more yards per carry.”
The Ravens are struggling to convert third downs, ranking 18th in the league with a 38.2 conversion percentage.
They’re 16th in rushing offense, gaining 108.4 yards, and 15th in passing offense, averaging 233.3 yards through the air.
“There’s things across the board everybody needs to correct,” Mason said. “At times, we are not a good offense and everyone believes that. We still got four games to get things right. We have high expectations. The coaches expect us to finish on a high note and hopefully we take it into the playoffs.”
The Ravens’ average per carry is only 3.6 yards to rank 31st in the league.
And Baltimore has only rushed for eight touchdowns while scoring 19 touchdowns through the air.
And the Ravens are tied with the Arizona Cardinals in red-zone scoring, ranking 25th overall. They’ve only scored 18 touchdowns in 39 red-zone opportunities, a 46.2 success rate.
Over the past two games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Steelers, the Ravens have scored a total of 27 points.
During the previous four games, the Ravens scored 37, 21, 26 and 37 points to average 31.5 points per contest.
“It is frustrating because we are an offense that’s capable of putting up 30 points a game, easily,” wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. “At the same time, you can’t continue to hang your head and feel bad even when you win. There’s a lot of times where guys feel things aren’t going right just because we don’t score 40 points. This is the NFL, games are going to be tough. You’ve got to take the win and keep moving.”
Heading into Monday night’s game against the Houston Texans, the Ravens may have an opportunity to get well on offense. The Texans rank 31st in pass defense (287.4 average), 27th in scoring defense (26.8 average) and 29th in total defense (388.8 yards).
“Have we identified it?” asked Mason. “Privately, I think we have identified some things we need to correct. That’s a good thing. We know we have the personnel to do it.”