Ravens Hope to Build on Newfound Ground Game Success

Baltimore Ravens v Chicago Bears

The Ravens gained 174 yards on the ground Sunday, over 100 yards more than their average for the season coming into the game. Ray Rice had 131 of those yards himself, the first time in 2013 he’s put up more than 74 in a game.

So, it seems fair to ask: Is the run game back?

Well, let’s hold the phone just a bit. Those numbers came against the Chicago Bears defense, which was ranked 31st in the NFL against the run after 10 weeks.

Still, Ravens fans are eager to grasp at any  silver lining we can in this haze of a 2013 season.

“We did a better job on our combination blocks,” John Harbaugh stated to the media on Monday.

The offensive line was attacking their blocks and finishing them. That included Marshal Yanda, who had his best game of the year, A.Q. Shipley and yes even Gino Gradkowski, who had big blocks. According to Pro Football Focus, 123 of running back Ray Rice’s season-high 131 rushing yards came when he ran through the A-gap on either side of Gradkowski.

While it is way too early to think the Ravens running woes have been solved, yesterday’s game against Chicago does provide one thing. Confidence!

Confidence can be a very powerful emotion and something that Rice and his offensive line absolutely need after a grueling season thus far. It was clear with Rice’s comments after the game he was happy with the way they ran the ball. However, he of course acknowledged that not getting the win was the most important thing.

“Our O-line got a hat on a hat,” Rice said. “Under the circumstances, with the weather, we knew we had to run the ball and we did a good job today. We’re heading in the right direction. I’d love to get the win, but it’s just the way that things have been shaking lately. Needless to say, we are getting better. I’m not going to say any more about that. We are getting better. We’ve shown a lot of drastic improvement in the run game today and that’s something we’ve been criticized [for], so for us to go out there and do what we did in the run game, that’s a positive. Like I said before, before I talk about any stat, the only thing that really means anything to me is the ‘W.’ So, it’s a tough one, but we have to get ready for the New York Jets next week.”

I am hoping – as are all Ravens fans – that the team can build upon the effort when the Jets come to town this weekend. New York’s stingy run defense is first in the league, allowing just 2.9 yards per carry.

With the Ravens season pretty much on the line from here on out they have to be able to run the football. Though the weather has been unseasonably warm, the temperatures will inevitably drop and the running game will be front and center.

One thing is for sure: I am confident that…I am looking for that silver lining anywhere I can find it.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Sportguyrsr

 

 

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Brian Bower. Bookmark the permalink.

About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

Ravens Should Pass on Tight End in First Round

When a player is taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, the goal is for that player to have an immediate impact. The first round is supposed to be the best of the best. If a team hits a home run, ...read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Introducing Anita Marks

Originally published on May 16, 2006   One week before she launches her new sports talk program coincidentally called The Anita Marks Show (funny how that happens), I sat down with Anita Mark...read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ravens Draft History Round 5

Last week, we touched down on Round 4 of the Ravens draft history. This week we'll focus on Round 5 where the Ravens clearly found some value. 1996 (153) Jermaine Lewis, WR, Maryland The first 5...read more

MEDIA WATCHDOG: Blogger Seeks $400K

Hunter filling in admirably for Manfra on WBAL If you’ve been listening to the O’s on 1090 AM WBAL (or trying to through the static) you’ve probably noticed that veteran broadcaster Fred Manfra...read more

Ravens Reinstate Rolando

The Baltimore Ravens have reinstated inside linebacker Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list, three days after McClain worked out for Ravens officials at team headquarters in Owings Mills. ...read more

View More