For Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Sunday’s match-up against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a familiar one.
Sure, the personnel at his disposal may be different in 2014 than in years past when the offensive guru was the head coach of the Houston Texans, but he understands the importance of not overlooking a Jaguars team that has been bad for some time.
During his tenure in Houston (2006-2013), per the website Pro-Football-reference.com, Kubiak had complied a 9-7 record against Jacksonville, facing them twice a year as both were part of the AFC South division.
Certainly this isn’t the same Jaguars team as years past – no longer is defensive tackle John Henderson clogging up the middle making it impossible to run, or is former first-team All-Pro Rashean Mathis defending passes.
Instead it’s a group of relative unknowns with some young talent that has been stout in red zone defense (NFL’s third- best) despite what their 2-11 record says.
Some may call it the Ravens playing down to their opponents, while others suggest that Jacksonville always gives the Ravens fits, but both can be seen as legitmate answers as to why the Ravens-Jaguars games are often nail-biters. Overall,the Jaguars are 10-9 against the Ravens in their series history; however, the Ravens have won 7 of the last 9 meetings and are 5-4 against them in Baltimore all time.
Things are certainly different for the Ravens this season particularly the success on offense with Kubiak calling the plays.
Exactly how productive have the Ravens offense been under Kubiak this season?
Entering Week 15, the Ravens (356 in 2014) need 43 more points to set a single-season franchise record, breaking the 398 mark from 2012. Baltimore also needs just eight more TDs to set the franchise single-season record, which currently stands at 47 (2009 campaign).
Their offense is ranked number 10 overall including boasting the leagues 5th best rushing attack and 10th best passing attack, averaging 27.4 points per game.
“The thing I’ve been most pleased with is how they’ve responded to new [information and approaches],” Kubiak stated on Thursday when asked about the overall with how happy he’s been with the overall improvement of the offense. “Anytime there’s change, and you’re asking guys to learn a new system and buy into something new, it takes time and those things,” The guys have been great from Day One.
“The thing I really like is I think we’ve continuously gotten better. And then the biggest thing going on, I think with us as a group, is all the people that are contributing. We’re not some group that sits there and waits on one or two guys to make a play. Kamar [Aiken] is a good example going in last week for Torrey [Smith]. So, we’re built with everybody, and we’re built playing hard, and everything we do starts up front. Our guys up front have responded to me this year coming off of last year – responded very well in how they’ve played.”
With just three games remaining including Sunday’s game in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, the offense seems to be peaking, and the timing couldn’t be any more perfect.
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