The Ray Rice Factor

Street Talk The Ray Rice Factor

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I am a fan, I’m not a coach. I possess a lot of football knowledge but actually never even played a down of organized football in my life. My knowledge about this gridiron game should never be even in the same ballpark as that of a professional NFL coach or coordinator; that is unless that coach is in Baltimore.

Once again the Ravens have lost to an inferior opponent and once again Ray Rice has been eliminated from the equation. The box wasn’t stacked with nine defenders; Rice wasn’t double-teamed on passing routes either. Ray Rice was eliminated from the game by his own team and more specifically, Cam Cameron.

In every loss this season, the same recipe for disaster has occurred and each loss tastes horrible. The Ravens were beaten more by their own coaching staff and planning than the opposing team. 

It’s no secret that this 2011 Ravens squad is inconsistent and the same can be said for the play calling. A team which groomed a top tier running back in the NFL has only called for the rush a staggering 38% of the time. The blame for this level of mismanagement can solely be pointed at Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh turning a blind eye to his ineffectiveness as a coordinator.

The solution to the Ravens problem is simple and can be seen by everyone except the ones wearing Motorola headsets. Keeping a defense honest and guessing is Football Offense 101; this course apparently isn’t on the curriculum at Ball So Hard University. The proof is in the pudding; Ray Rice’s three lowest rush totals of the year all came in the three losses (Ten- 13, Jax- 8, Sea-5).

In yesterday’s NFL action, let’s take a quick look at the winning teams and how often their running backs carried the ball.

OAK- Bush- 30 carries

TEN- Johnson -27 carries

PIT- Mendenhall- 16 carries

STL- Jackson- 27 carries

DAL- Murray 20 carries

JAX- Jones-Drew- 25 carries

DEN- Ball- 30 carries

MIA- Bush- 14 carries Thomas- 17 carries

NO- Thomas- 6 carries Ingram- 8 carries (Drew Brees offense)

ARI- Wells- 23 carries

HOU- Foster- 17 carries Tate- 13 carries

SEA- Lynch- 32 carries

CHI- Forte- 18 carries

SF- Gore Injured

NE- 23 combined carries between 4 RB’s

If these statistics prove anything, it’s pretty obvious that running the ball gives your team the best chance of winning. Ray Rice is arguably better than EVERY ONE of the running backs listed above. The Ravens faced a Seahawks team which finds itself 12th in the league for total rushing defense. Abandoning the run game is necessary when you’re consistently losing yardage; that wasn’t the case on Sunday.

After failing to use the shotgun formation the first few games of the season, Joe Flacco was in it most of the game. Flacco received a boost in confidence last week after a big win over Pittsburgh but it quickly was diminished after yesterday’s game plan and performance. The Ravens have the luxury of an explosive player who can make things happen if the quarterback can just hand the ball off. Cam Cameron forced Joe to throw and once again can be blamed for another horrific offensive performance.

The big picture here is that Cam Cameron can drive Ray Rice out of town. Rice is a free agent at the end of the year and instead of him simply re-signing with Baltimore and not looking at other teams, he should strongly consider testing the market. The design of this offense has far more to do with the people designing plays and dictating game plans versus the talent on the field. Ravens fans can only wonder if Rice wants to continue to be grounded when he knows he can help the team.

We’ll just have to wait and see, much like we’ll have to wait and see if the team has finally had enough of Cam Cameron.

 

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Kris Jones

About Kris Jones

Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He's been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM's MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He's caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth. Twitter: RavenManiac  More from Kris Jones

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