Baltimore Ravens vs New Orleans Saints: What We Learned

3 of 4

Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) runs past New Orleans Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have moved to their late-season run-pass ratio

Late in every season, the Baltimore Ravens tend to focus on what they’ve done best over the years, pounding the rock. We’ve seen the passing game de-emphasized year after year late in the season, especially earlier in Joe Flacco‘s career. With the offensive line a strength and Justin Forsett in the midst of a career year, the Ravens are wise to emphasize the run more.

Against the Saints, Flacco threw 24 passes while the team ran 32 times. That’s a ratio that has worked well for the Ravens in the past, as Flacco can produce big plays while not having to carry the offense. Forsett made good on the extra workload as well, going for 182 yards on his 22 carries.

That kind of ratio is similar to Flacco’s 2011 season, in which he threw a combined 43 passes in the final two games. In 2010, the effect was even more pronounced, as Flacco did not exceed 20 passes once in his final three games that year. 2012 and 2013 were the exceptions, as the Ravens lost four of their last five in 2012 and could not run the ball effectively in 2013.

Unfortunately for Ravens fans, Flacco will probably not get to 4,000 yards because of the presumed shift in priorities. That said, it’s the best chance for this team to keep winning games, so fans should enjoy the ground-and-pound offense the Ravens will bring to the table for the rest of the season.