Why one word stands between the Ravens and the Lombardi trophy
Efficiency-in general describes the extent to which time or effort is well used for the intended task or purpose. The Ravens passing game so far this season has been anything but.
I expected some struggles but not with the E word, at least not to this extent. Flacco has an unprecedented amount of control and the team has shown an increased confidence in him throwing down the field. Through 5 games he’s thrown 31 passes over 20 yards. He threw 72 passes of that distance all of last season. Keep in mind deep threat Lee Evans has missed 3 of the 5 games. With this newfound offensive aggression its was inevitable that growing pains would be involved but the results have to get better then they are thus far for this team to get where they want to go.
Reasons to be concerned
-Flacco has completed 51% of his passes through 5 games
-Seeming lack of staple plays, zone and blitz beaters, etc.
-Red zone passing offense
Reasons for optimism
-Flacco’s first year with this type of offensive freedom
-Newfound aggression in the downfield passing game
-Lack of OTA’s
-The team is averaging 29 points per game this season
Cam takes a beating in this regard but not all of it is valid. Sure keeping defenses honest with balance is very important and at times the offense looks like it has no flow or purpose. At the same time the name of the game is scoring points, and the best way to put points on the board one week may not be the best way the next week. The more ways you can win the better off you are.
This team seemingly has every element necessary to hoist the Lombardi trophy at the end of this season. The defense has been outstanding with more contributors then any team in recent history which will allow for great development of young players and preservation of the older players. It’s also a defense that unlike last year can consistently finish teams off because of Chuck Pagano’s aggressiveness and creativity.
Offensively the Ravens are now capable of imposing their will in the run game. The implementing of some zone blocking, signing of Vonta Leach, Bryant McKinnie and Andre Gurode as well as moving Marshall Yanda back to Right Guard has made this run offense not only effective but versatile in the type of calls they can make. Going hand to hand with that and the potential of the play action game is the boost in athleticism provided by Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson, Lee Evans and Dennis Pitta particularly when compared to their predecessors.
The only missing piece is that vaunted E word.
If that’s achieved look for 1 Winning Drive to become 2 Winning Dr in the very near future.