One day after the Ravens suffered a crushing defeat in a game many deemed a “must win” against the Cleveland Browns, head coach John Harbaugh stood before the media calm, cool and collected.
Not only was quarterback Joe Flacco sacked five times, he also led the team in rushing yards. Still, Coach Harbaugh remained positive about the Ravens offensive line play.
“Our offensive line blocked well yesterday,” said Harbaugh. “If you see it on tape, you’d have to say that.”
I understand “Coach Speak” but c’mon John! Seriously? With a straight face?
The Ravens run game is producing a league worst 2.8 yards per carry…that’s right – a league worst.
Then there were the pass protection breakdowns that had Joe running for his life yesterday.
“We need Joe [Flacco] to take fewer hits, and we’ll continue to chase that.” stated Harbaugh.
He also mentioned that Cleveland stayed in a run defense and played seven in the box despite the Ravens attempting to spread them out with wide formations.
The offensive line unit is lost. Gradkowski is still getting mauled, Yanda’s play has certainly regressed, Michael Oher in a contract year seems to be standing there with his hands in his pockets and then there is A.Q. Shipley, who got the start replacing an injured Kelechi Osemele.
While Shipley is healthy, he is slow and appears lost at times; however, Harbaugh said he thought Shipley played well and held his own and indicated he’ll likely remain the left guard for the time being.
Football games are won (and lost) in the trenches and eight games into a season is not the time to be addressing these issues. Despite Harbaugh’s claims to the contrary, it seems little – if any – was fixed during the bye week.
If there is any good news for the Ravens, it’s that the AFC North is still up for grabs. With two games remaining against the division-leading Bengals, as long as they’re mathematically alive, we can still hope…right?
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