Offense Continues to Struggle on the Road in Loss to Chargers

Street Talk Offense Continues to Struggle on the Road in Loss to Chargers

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Game 14 – December 20, 2011

We all saw it on Sunday night again; another poor performance by the offense in a road game.  Seven sacks allowed, two turnovers, and only 14 points scored. The formula is simple for the Ravens in road games; score less than 20 points and go home with a loss. It’s happened four times in road games and the outcome is the same every time.

Is it the play calling? Is it Joe Flacco’s inability to effectively work the pocket? Is the offensive line just not good enough outside the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium?  Whatever the reasons are they add up to the Ravens being a poor road team.

Numbers don’t lie and there might be something to the Ravens being a turf team. On grass their record this year is just 2-3 while on turf they are 8-1. The Chargers loss highlights some other seasonal trends. The Ravens struggle when Ray Rice does not score a rushing touchdown as they are now 3-4 this season. Since the offense is not overly potent it can’t overcome turnovers and is now 0-4 when committing two or more. 

Although I don’t have access to actual game film, I came away from this game with two disturbing thoughts. The first is that it seems Cam Cameron is incapable of making adjustments when the running game is floundering. The second is that Joe Flacco doesn’t fully trust his receivers and relies far too much on Ray Rice as a bail out just to avoid taking a sack.

Flacco had 10 of his 23 completions to the RBs. Philip Rivers had just four completions to his RBs. Ray Rice led the Ravens with nine receptions, while WR Malcolm Floyd led the Chargers with five.  It was like watching a replay seeing Flacco make the read on his primary option then dumping off to Rice for a short gain.  Isn’t it worth taking a shot down field now and then just to keep the DBs honest?

With Christmas fast approaching I might need to send another list to Santa and ask that Norv Turner be available and looking for a job as offensive coordinator in 2012. But that would mean Cam Cameron would need to be fired first. Oh yeah, I think I can add that to the list too.

Happy holidays everybody!

Category

2010 (rank)

2011 to date

2011 Ranking

Difference

Pts / Gm

22.3 (16)

23.9

T-12th

Tot Pts

357 (16)

334

T-12th

Yds / Gm

322.9 (22)

342.0

15th

Rush Yds/Gm

114.4 (14)

115.2

16th

Pass Yds/Gm

208.4 (20)

226.8

16th

1st downs/Gm

18.9 (18)

20.1

14th

3rd Down Pct.

39% (T-16)

43%

T-7th

4th Down Pct.

40% (T-21)

57%

T-7th

Penalties

90 (T-18)

80

25th

TOP/Gm

31:20 (11)

30:33

13th

Fumbles

22 (T-17)

23

T-7th

Fumbles Lost

10 (T-17)

12

T-5th

Turnovers

+7 (9)

+1

T-12th

Red Zone %

49.2% (22)

48.9%

T-20th

Flacco QB Rating

93.6 (7)

80.0

22nd

Red Zone Conversion Rate for Teams with a Winning Record (done)

Team

2011 Red zone %

2010 Red zone %

1. NY Jets

68.2%

44.3%

2. New England

63.5%

61.9%

3. Green Bay

62.7%

62.7%

4. Detroit

59.6%

64.4%

5. New Orleans

57.1%

51.5%

6. Atlanta

54.9%

60.7%

7. Pittsburgh

51.1%

52.5%

8. Dallas

48.9%

59.6%

8. Ravens

48.9%

49.2%

10. Cincinnati

48.8%

49.1%

11. Denver

48.4%

55.8%

12. Houston

47.2%

62.3%

13. San Francisco

37.5%

47.6%

BTN will track the progress here on a weekly basis. Keep in mind for some categories a decrease is positive, as in the case of Fumbles lost, and an increase is negative, in as the case of Penalties.

 

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980's. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real "411" on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.   Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK's fine contributions.   More from Scot Kleinfeld

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