Going into week 14 the Ravens will battle the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. With 4 games left to play, the Ravens currently hold the final Wild Card playoff spot in the AFC. Can they pull it off? The offense is questionable.
Baltimore cannot run the ball well. And without a good receiver to replace Anquan Boldin or a tight end that can pick up the slack for the injured Dennis Pitta, their passing game has suffered as well. Unfortunately, this has been a problem all season. The Ravens are # 1 in the NFL in field goals made but # 28 in offensive touchdowns. Joe Flacco with his career high in interceptions don’t help either.
When the Ravens played the Steelers on Thanksgiving, Joe Flacco was seen throwing his arms in disgust and ripping his helmet off while shouting as he came over to the sidelines following a failed third-down attempt. This lead up to a field goal, one of five field goals Justin Tucker kicked in the 22-20 victory over the division rival.
“We were right there,” Flacco said. You could taste it, and we just didn’t convert a lot.”
While defense can win championships, the Ravens need to have a much more consistent offense. So far, the offense is relying heavily on big plays and this works in Flacco’s favor since he has one of the best arms in the NFL, and the deep ball is his signature skill. However, his deep passes have had a low rate of success. His accuracy percentage is just 40.2 on his deep passes, compared to an overall accuracy percentage of 68 for the season.
Of course, Flacco can throw to his running backs, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce but these passes behind the line of scrimmage are often blocked and Ray Rice is not at the performance of past years. The Ravens line has been terrible in run blocking this year, ranking 31st overall.
This season, Rice has only 43 catches on 54 targets for 213 yards and no touchdowns. That’s down from his 2012 total of 84 targets and 61 catches for 478 yards and a touchdown. It’s significantly lower than his career-best receiving year, in 2011, with 104 targets, 76 receptions, 704 yards and three touchdowns.
If the Ravens cannot run the ball, they are in trouble. They will be playing tough teams like the New England Patriots (9-3), Denver Broncos (10-2) and Indianapolis Colts (8-4). So far, these teams have excellent records so it is gonna be tough but not impossible to beat.