What’s to blame for Ravens’ road woes?

Ray-Rice

The Baltimore Ravens are widely thought to have the best home field advantage in all of football. And their current 14-game home win streak supports that notion.

On the other hand, the Ravens may be one of the worst road teams in the NFL currently with just a .333 (1-2) win percentage against teams with a combined record of 10-12. It’s also worth noting that the one game the Ravens won on the road saw no touchdowns as the Ravens squeaked out a 9-6 win against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.

So why such the drastic change in performance on the road and what’s to blame for the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior?

I think the biggest culprit would have to be the offense. The Ravens have averaged two turnovers per game  on the road with all of them coming from the hands of Joe Flacco. Additionally, Flacco averages less than 200 yards passing per game and has thrown only two touchdowns on the road.

At the same time, a guy by the name of Ray Rice is sitting in the backfield, getting only 14 carries per road game. On those 14 carries, Rice is averaging an astounding 5.5 yards per carry.

If you add in his receptions, Rice, arguably the most complete running back in the entire NFL, is touching the ball less than 20 times per game on the road, despite gaining significant yardage every touch.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the problem here.

To win games, you have to put the ball in your best player’s hands until the defense can stop him. The stats clearly show that Rice hasn’t been stopped, yet week after week, he continues to sit in the backfield and pass block.

Now I’m not trying to hate on Flacco, but I think the Ravens need to stick to the fundamentals and do what’s given them success in the past. The Ravens have two very capable backs in Rice and Bernard Pierce and an offensive line that seems much better at run blocking than pass blocking, but have the third-lowest rushing attempts per game in the league.

This simply doesn’t make sense. The formula is clear and all the Ravens have to do is follow it. If change doesn’t come quickly, the losses will continue to pile up.

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