Ravens Woes Continue Despite Flacco’s Solid Performances


Joe Flacco has continued to play well. However, this has not done the Ravens much good as they have lost all three of their first games this season.

Flacco got off to a rocky start in Denver this season, only throwing for 117 yards, throwing zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Since then, however, he has played much better.

Flacco threw for 384 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Oakland Raiders and came back last week with a similar performance. Against the Cincinnati defense at home, Flacco threw for 362 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

At the start of the season, many experts wondered if the Ravens offense would let them down. Baltimore came into the season with Steve Smith and many inexperienced players as Flacco’s receiving corps.

Steve Smith has entered his last season with 349 yards on 25 receptions. He has also caught two touchdowns this season. His two came against the Bengals defense in last week’s game. He has mainly picked up the slack on offense along with Crockett Gillmore.

Gillmore is a second-year tight end who is starting to come into his own. He also has two touchdowns. Gillmore adds 10 receptions along with 151 yards to the receiving group. However, Flacco doesn’t have any receivers that have had many stats other than Gillmore and Smith.

Kamar Aiken, formerly a journeyman wideout, is now a Ravens starter. He has had only 88 yards this season. In his first game against the Broncos, he actually put up a negative receiving yard. Also, he didn’t have any catches against the Bengals.

Flacco’s other targets include Marlon Brown (6 rec, 66 yds, 0 TDs), Michael Campanaro (3 rec, 19 yds, 0 TDs), Breshad Perriman (who has been injured all season), Darren Waller (no stats), Maxx Williams (5 rec, 67 yds, 0 TDs) and Nick Boyle (2 rec, 19 yds, 0 TDs).

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Although the Ravens don’t have much production outside of Gillmore and Smith, they have managed to put up 65 points in the last two games.  The losses seem mainly due to a sputtering defense.

The Ravens currently rank 22nd (375 yds/g) in total defense. This is mainly due to their 29th-ranked pass defense (291 yds/g). Although this is not good by any stretch, there is one saving grace. Baltimore has been very stout against rushing attacks. They rank 7th (84 yds/g). They have also ranked 8th in sacks (7).

The Ravens are not a horrible team by any means. They have lost by six, four and four in their first three games. There is time for change. In past years the pass rush was ratcheted up to cause more turnovers. Also, the Ravens have historically played a man coverage. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Ravens have strayed away from their roots and it has caused two defeats. They can right the ship just with a few adjustments. This team isn’t out of the hunt yet.

Next: Five keys for a Ravens victory over the Steelers