Dennis Green famously said “They are who we thought they were.”
For the 2012 Baltimore Ravens, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not sure anyone, including Coach John Harbaugh, nor the players themselves, knows who they are. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and quarterback Joe Flacco seem to want them to be a prolific passing offense. Running back Ray Rice would like them to go big and run behind Vonta Leach 25 times per game. Ravens fans would like to see a run-first offense with a Top 5 Defense.
But who are they? Ravens fans thought/hoped we found out after the first two drives in the game Sunday in Cleveland. Rice ran behind Leach, and that opened things up with the passing game, as Flacco went 6-for-6 for 70 yards and a 115.3 QB Rating in the first quarter.
But just when we have it all figured out, all of Baltimore saw the team do an about-face. Flacco went 1-for-his-next-7, and in the second half, Ray Rice, at one point, had four carries for 1 yard.
I just don’t understand why the Ravens seem to go away from things that work. Does Cameron have a script that he won’t deviate from? Does Flacco decide “that’s enough hand-offs for one half,” and audible to pass plays that don’t work? If Ravens fans and commentators can see what works why can’t the Ravens?
It appears that the defense figured some things out. They seem to have this “bend but not break” approach. I will take letting up field goals all day, if it means keeping teams out of the end zone. When our offense works like it did on the first two drives of the game, then letting up field goals will result in a W every time. However, with the Steelers, Broncos and Giants all coming up on the schedule, will the D be able to keep them out of the end zone?
Overall, the Ravens continue to find a way to win. They are 6-2 and in first place in the AFC North. We can pick apart this team all that we want, but at the end of the day, they are in first place. Until that changes, you won’t be seeing any big changes in the Ravens philosophy… just what that philosophy is, well, that’s up for debate.