Everyone in Baltimore seems to be up in arms about the poor performance the past couple weeks. Add in a Bye week after the blow-out loss to the Texans and the world has been on fire for Ravens fans. The offense has been less than stellar since the Sunday Night game versus New England in Week 3. Now the fix is not cut and dry but there are steps this team can look against a reeling Raiders defense to “right the ship.”
One noticeable absence from the teams game-plan during the low points in each game the past couple weeks is Anquan Boldin. He did make an appearance in the first quarter against the Browns, where the offense the most dominant it has all season. There is not a coincidence in Boldin’s best games and the output by Flacco and company. There is a reason he was brought in from Arizona; this team sorely lacked a go-to threat. Boldin has never been utilized as such in this offense, which partly goes by play calling and partly going by the pieces around him.
The Ravens finally put together a core to build the passing game, as Flacco has developed beyond the “game-manager” mantra, Ray Rice is now a top back in the league and Torrey Smith, along with Jacoby Jones, give the team true vertical threats. With all that being said, the double-team coverage on Boldin has been non-existent, meaning he should have free reign over the middle of the field.
The problem comes as he has not been used as such, EVER, while here in Baltimore. Boldin was a consistent Pro-Bowler and 100 Catch candidate, while in Arizona. That player has virtually disappeared for the Ravens, which is probably not his fault. Cam Cameron has not made it a point of emphasis to get the ball across the middle, as that is his wheel house, with his sure hands and physical nature to take on linebackers.
Force feeding him on crossing routes will wear down a defense but also open things up on the outside and out of the back field. The goal for the offense for the remainder of the season, should be to focus the offense around Boldin in the passing game, while staying consistent with Rice and Bernard Pierce in the backfield (an idea that worked pretty well against the Browns for a quarter). It not only helps to put the ball in the hands of a possible Hall of Famer, but makes everyone else on the field that much more open.
When Anquan Boldin was brought in, he was supposed to be the focus of every defense, hopefully he can be the focus of the Ravens passing game.