Sticking With Cameron is Still Ravens’ Right Move

April 30, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson



7 – The Fans are Hurting the Ravens Offense


When you look at the numbers below keep in mind that it was around week 10 and the Seahawks game when fans (and players) started clamoring for more Rice and more rushing. While fans shouldn’t influence coaching decisions, they do. Bisciotti shirked responsibility with the fans by declaring Cam under fire. There was no reason to offer that except for Bisciotti to subtly tell the fans that he too is frustrated, that he’s not stupid, and that he hears your cries. Joe Flacco hinted at as much when he suggested fans cry for more passing at the ends of games. Also remember the more run-heavy approach that the Ravens adapted around that same time and the way that their offense began to suffer as a result.


As for the stats about how often the Ravens win when Rice gets 20 or more touches, call it a chicken or egg argument. When the Ravens (or any team) are winning they run the ball more and grind out the clock. I’d say that numerous attempts in the run game are more a byproduct of winning than a cause for it. I’d also guess that the Ravens have an insane winning percentage in games where they take a knee on first down during the 4th quarter. I wouldn’t however suggest adopting it as a strategy.


Ravens Week-by-Week Performance vs. Opponents’ Averages



Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh – Ravens win 35-7


PIT defense 1st in total yards (271.8), 1st in passing yards (171.9) 1st in points per game (14.2)

Ravens had 385 yards (+113), Flacco 224/3/0 (+72), scored 35 (+21)



Week 2 @ Tennessee – Ravens lose 26-13


TEN defense 18th in total yards (355.1), 14th in passing yards (226.8) 8th in points per game (19.8)

Ravens had 229 yards (-126), Flacco 184/1/2 (-43), scored 13 (-7)



Week 3 @ St. Louis – Ravens win 37-7


St.L defense 22nd in total yards (358.4, 7th in passing yards (206.3) 26th in points per game (25.4)

Ravens had 553 yards (+195), Flacco 389/3/0 (+183), scored 37 (+12)



Week 4 vs. New York Jets – Ravens win 34-17


NYJ defense 5th in total yards (312.1), 5th in passing yards (201), 20th in points per game (22.7)

Ravens had 267 yards (-45), Flacco 163/0/1 (-38), scored 34 (+11)



Week 5 – BYE


Week 6 vs. Houston – Ravens win 29-14


HOU defense ranked 2nd in total yards (285.7), 3rd in passing yards (187.9), 4th in points per game (17.4)

Ravens had 402 yards (+116), Flacco 305/0/1 (+117), scored 29 (+12)



Week 7 @ Jacksonville – Ravens lose 12-7


JAX defense ranked 6th in total yards (313), 8th in passing yards (208.8), 11th in points per game (20.6)

Ravens had 146 total yards (-167), Flacco 137/1/1 (-72), scored 7 (-13)



Week 8 vs. Arizona – Ravens win 30-27


AZ ranked 18th in total yards (355.1), 17th in passing yards (231), 17th in points per game (21.8)

Ravens had 405 yards (+50), Flacco 336/0/1 (+105), scored 30 (+8)



Week 9 @ Pittsburgh – Ravens win 23-20


PIT defense 1st in total yards (271.8), 1st in passing yards (171.9) 1st in points per game (14.2)

Ravens had 356 yards (+84), Flacco 300/1/0 (+128), scored 23 (+11)



Week 10 @ Seattle – Ravens lose 22-17


SEA defense ranked 9th in total yards (332.2), 11th in passing yards (219.9), 7th in points per game (19.7)

Ravens had 323 yards (-9), Flacco 255/1/0 (+35), scored 17 (-3)



Week 11 vs. Cincinnati – Ravens win 31-24


CIN defense ranked 7th in total yards (316.3), 9th in passing yards (211.6), 9th in points per game (20.2)

Ravens had 373 yards (+57), Flacco 270/2/1 (+52), scored 31 (+11)



Week 12 vs. SF – Ravens win 16-6


SF defense ranked 4th in total yards (308.1), 16th in passing yards (230.9), 2nd in points per game (14.3)

Ravens had 253 yards (-55), Flacco 161/1/0 (-69), scored 16 (+2)



Week 13 @ Cleveland – Ravens win 24-10


CLE defense ranked 10th in total yards (332.4), 2nd in passing yards (184.9), 5th in scoring (19.2)

Ravens had 448 yards (+116), Flacco 158/0/0, scored 24 (+5)



Week 14 vs. Indianapolis – Ravens win 24-10


IND defense ranked 25th in total yards (370.9), 15th in passing yards (227), 28th in scoring (26.9)

Ravens had 358 yards (-13), Flacco 227/2/1 (-), scored 24 (-3)



Week 15 @ San Diego – Ravens lose 34-14


SD defense ranked 16th in total yards (346.6), 13th in passing yards (224.4), 22nd in points per game (23.6)

Ravens had 290 yards (-57), Flacco 226/2/2 (+2), scored 14 (-9)



Week 16 vs. Cleveland – Ravens win 20-14


CLE defense ranked 10th in total yards (332.4), 2nd in passing yards (184.9), 5th in scoring (19.2)

Ravens had 284 yards (-48), Flacco 132/2/1 (-52), scored 20 (+1)



Week 17 @ Cincinnati – Ravens win 24-16


CIN defense ranked 7th in total yards (316.3), 9th in passing yards (211.6), 9th in points per game (20.2)

Ravens had 221 yards (-95), Flacco 130/1/0 (-81), scored 24 (+4)



For the season the Ravens picked up 7.5 more yards per than their opponents normally gave up, threw for 19.5 more yards than their opponents’ averages and score 4 more points per game than their opponents normally gave up.


As the rest of the AFC North played basically the same schedule, look at how the division rankings shaped up on offense


Yards per game: PIT (372.3), BAL (338.7), CIN (319.9), CLE (288.8)

Passing Yards: PIT (253.4), BAL (213.9), CIN (208.8), CIN (193.1)

Rushing Yards: BAL (124.8), PIT (118.9), CIN (111.1), CLE (95.7)

PPG: BAL (23.6), CIN (21.5, PIT (20.3), CLE (13.6)





7 Comments For This Post

  1. Sam Says:

    Look, the stats you present are all solid, but the base fact that matters before all else is that professional football is a fan-dependent, entertainment industry. Statistical reality has its place, but fan perception has heavy bearing as well. And it can’t be good when the average fan has a stultified expectation that between Cameron’s boring playcalling and Flacco’s take-the-sack conservative style of play, the only stat that matters are 3-and-outs.

    3-and-outs destroy souls. And deep in the corners of the Raven’s fans psyche creeps in the thought that “you know, it can’t be good that we keep putting our defense back out there, the best players of which are on the wrong side of 30.”

  2. Chuck T Says:

    Statistically Rivers and Brees flourished almost immediately after they were working under a new offensive coordinator. They were chalking up about a 1000 yards or better each season afterwards. The question is “How far along is Joe Flacco”? and “How much control does Cam Cameron need each season”? Cam and Jim Zorn didn’t get along. If Cam had it his way he would love to play both roles as he did this year. Is it sceme and play calling? Look at the Packers. Is it all Aaron Rodgers? Is it Matt Flynn too? Brady vs. Matt Castle? We may never know how good Joe Flacco could be. Is he better served under the claustrophobic offensive coordinating of Cam? Joe’s numbers are pretty much the same every season. Will he become the next 4-5000 yrd passer? We may never know.

  3. Lee-Otis Says:

    While we’re delving critically into stats, we ought to delve into the most FRAUDULENTLY MIS-USED stat in the last 4 years. That being that somehow if we did not have Joe, or Cam, or a combo of both over the last few years, we wouldn’t have gone to the playoffs and won games.

    I think most people know that it isn’t BECAUSE of Joe or Cam that we go. It’s IN SPITE of Joe and Cam.

    We ought to give Joe more leeway, especially in light of his efforts last Sunday. But Biscotti and Newsome should make it painfully clear to Cam, he survives on only because they lack a worthwhile alternative at OC.

  4. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    The thought of bringing back the architect of a non-prolific offense that has been charcterized as, “inconsistent”, “dysfunctional”, “out-of-sync” and “predictable” doesn’t exactly make me want to stand up and cheer! In fact, it epitomizes Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! Just think, another year of, hey diddle, diddle, Rice up the middle, then Flacco gets thrown for a loss! I can hardly wait………..

  5. Joe of bel air Says:

    You people are complete idiots. The Ravens are a Lee Evans strip and a Cundiff choke away from the Super Bowl and you want to blame Cam because Joe isn’t throwing for 400 yards every week and racking up 35 points a game. Hey I hope the Ravens continue doing what they are doing. Going to the playoffs 4 straight years and to the AFC title game in 2 of the 4 ain’t half bad IMO. I agree with you Thyrl that keeping Cam was the correct move.

  6. Jim of Owings Mills Says:

    Cameron’s approach is to avoid turnovers by refusing to put the ball up for grabs. He won’t ask his team to do things they’re not good at. Flacco is still learning to make good decisions when he’s has to read the whole field. The receivers aren’t very good at catching the ball. The offensive line is pass blocking okay but isn’t run blocking well in the trenches. Given these things, it’s just asking for trouble to throw over the middle and run in the middle. When you don’t throw over the middle, Flacco has to read less of the field, receivers still drop balls but don’t get intercepted as much, and Ray Rice gets screen passes.

    Refusing to get involved with things you’re no good at is a healthy approach.

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    If you watch alot of NFL games other than the Ravens all these OCs do the same stuff. Like 3rd and 8 and they throw a 2 yard pass. Or 3rd and 15 deep in your territory and they run a draw.In the playoffs Cam called the right play but Evans dropped it. This year the only suggestions I would give Cam are use Rice more from the slot on passing plays and throw deep more often to him. Get Pitta on the field more and use him in the slot or spread him out wide all the dude does is catch the ball!

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