Uneven game against Browns shows offensive problems deeper than Cameron

November 05, 2012 | Luke Jones

Uneven game against Browns shows offensive problems deeper than Cameron

“We had stalled for a while, so we needed a touchdown,” Smith said. “There were a few plays I felt like I could have made earlier in the game. I was frustrated by it, so I was glad we got to finish on the good side.”

Yes, the Ravens finished on a high note and improved to 6-2. They’re still sitting in first place in the AFC North and a game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom they have two games in the next four weeks.

But Sunday showed the problems plaguing the Ravens offense are more than just the number of carries Rice receives.

Issues still exist along the offensive line after the unit played well early but struggled to adjust to the run blitzes the Browns used to slow the running game. The pass protection was better than it had been in previous road games but is unpredictable from week to week.

Flacco started the game on fire but then reverted to the 50-percent passer we’ve seen most of the season away from M&T Bank Stadium.

And wide receivers and tight ends struggled at times to get open and failed to rein in a few passes that could have made a difference in changing the middle portion of the game.

But unlike previous performances in Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Houston, the Baltimore offense answered the bell in the final eight minutes of the game to score 10 points and come away with a much-needed road victory and division win.

It was progress, but the Ravens need much more from their offense if they’re to continue their current 6-2 pace in the second half of their schedule, which includes five games against teams with .500 or better records and two of the other three coming on the road.

“We have lots to work on,” Harbaugh said. “We had lots to work on last week. We’re going to have lots to work on next week. We’re going to try to become a great football team. We’re not there by any stretch, but we have a chance to get there if we all come together and do the things we need to do to get there.”

If the Ravens are truly to become great this season, it will be on the offense to pick up the bulk of the work for a full 60 minutes, week in and week out.

And while Sunday’s performance was better than previous road debacles, it showed the offense still has a long way to go.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. James Says:

    I still blame Cam. He standing there with his IHOP menu covering his face calling the same ‘run up the middle play” 7 or 8 times for no gain. It wasn’t working. Why not call a Screen pass to Ray Rice .Or come out with an unbalance line and run a sweep. TRY A DIFFERENT LOOK once in a while to throw off the defense. Cam claims to have 200 offensive plays. Why do we only see the same ten or twelve plays per game. Heck I can read the offense from my sofa. Don’t you think the D-coordinators can too.
    James – Dundalk

    (L.J. – At what point do the players take some of the responsibility? Sorry, it’s too simplistic. Everyone wanted to see Rice get the carries and it still didn’t “fix” the offense on the road.)

  2. joe of bel air Says:

    Luke:

    My question has to do with the defense. What is your overall impression of the job Pees is doing as DC. Do you think we would be seeing a much different defense had Chuch Pagano remained our DC? I know it won’t happen but I would love to see Harbaugh bring in a new OC and DC next year. Having said that here is my bold prediction. Ravens finally play a complete game next week against the hapless Raiders and win in a blowout 41-13.

    (L.J. – I don’t think you’d see a much better defense with Pagano in charge. The personnel is severely lacking along the defensive line. This group misses Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson a great deal and the injuries to Suggs, Lewis, and Webb have hurt immensely as well. I really don’t view Dean Pees as the the problem. The lack of defensive talent brought into the fold in recent seasons has finally caught up with them.)

  3. Chris Says:

    I just don’t understand the offense. They go from looking unstoppable to incompetent within 10 minutes. My hope is that they put it together in time to be the hot team come playoff time, unfortunately I see them backing in and MAYBE winning a playoff game. I don’t see a Super Bowl this year. Until the offense takes control and picks up a talent lagging and beat up defense, there will be nothing but disappointment this year.

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    Luke: If this were a one game or one season anomaly, I’d be inclined to agree that it goes deeper than Cameron. However, his offense has been characterized as “inconsistent”, “dysfunctional”, “out-of-sync” and “predictable” by analysts the past 4 1/2 years regardless of personnel, so it has more to do with his coaching than anything else! Remember, this is the offensive coordinator who waived Drew Brees in San Diego before going on to post a 1-15 record in his only year as a head coach! This is not the first time that his coaching acumen has been called into question………

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