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Ravens’ Problems Start at the Top

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After yesterday’s loss, which included the second straight week of a non-existent offense, some fans are clamoring for the ouster of Marty Mornhinweg. The Ravens rank last in passing yards per game, averaging 142.5 through four games. That’s 29 yards behind the second worst team, the Buffalo Bills. They also rank last in passing yards per play.

Dean Pees hasn’t been much better. After two weeks the Ravens were drawing comparisons to their historic 2000 defense. After four weeks the Ravens ranks 21st overall in total defense. They let a Jaguars team that lost to the Jets yesterday hang 44 points on them on an international stage last week. The Jets have been pegged as one of the worst teams in football by the way.

So here we go again: fire Pees and fire whoever happens to be calling plays at the moment right? It’s a valid point, but the bigger question is, why are they both even still here to begin with?

After last season, most fans and media assumed John Harbaugh would make some changes – at the very least, on offense. After Mornhinweg took over for Marc Trestman in the middle of last year, the offense didn’t improve. At the time, Mornhinweg was viewed as a stop-gap solution until 2017, when Harbaugh would find the right play caller who could get more out of Joe Flacco.

Instead, he stuck with the same crew. He brought back his old buddy Marty and somehow we should be surprised that we’re seeing a similar result: a lethargic and stale offense that resembles play calls you’d see at Calvert Hall, not the NFL.

So if Pees needs to go, and Marty needs to go, than Harbaugh needs to go as well. It was ultimately his decision to keep them both around so he should be held accountable when they predictably produce the exact same result. The panic button shouldn’t be pressed because the Ravens have lost two straight games, it should be pressed because of how they’ve lost them. They were embarrassed by a perennial loser that lost to the Jets yesterday and then embarrassed at home against their biggest rival with first place on the line.

Now I know what some will say: the Ravens are decimated with injuries and it’s not Harbaugh’s fault. But the problems on offense go deeper than the rash of banged up players. The play calls are predictable, the team looks slow and lethargic and Flacco continues to regress.

Some will say you can’t blame the coaches, and at some point it comes down to players executing the plays. If that’s your logic, than what do we even have coaches for? It’s their job to get the most they can out of players and this staff isn’t accomplishing that.

How many years in a row can excuses be made for subpar seasons? If it’s not the injuries, then it’s Flacco’s rust after recovering from knee surgery. If it’s not Flacco’s knee it’s a lack of playmakers. If it’s not the playmakers, it’s playing abroad.

Tony Lombardi has floated a theory out there before that Harbaugh hires older coaches past their prime who won’t threaten his job security. He’s stayed away from the Kyle Shanahans and Adam Gases of the world. It’s an idea that looks more and more valid with each passing season.

As long as it’s allowed to continue, expect more of the same from this team.

A lot of excuses and more embarrassing losses like we’ve witnessed the last two weeks.

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