Poll results: Biggest disappointment

January, 12, 2014
Jan 12
10:00
AM ET
The biggest disappointment with the Baltimore Ravens this season was the lack of a running game. That's the overwhelming opinion of voters in this week's SportsNation poll.

[+] EnlargeCincinnati's Vincent Rey
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsBefore this season, Ray Rice had never averaged under 4 yards a carry as a Raven.
The Ravens' running game was the worst in team history. Baltimore averaged 83 yards rushing per game, which was 15 yards per game less than any other team in Ravens history. The per-carry averages for Ray Rice (3.1) and Bernard Pierce (2.9) were among the four lowest in the NFL.

Here were the results ...

  • Lack of a running game: 74 percent
  • Joe Flacco's interceptions: 14 percent
  • Fourth-quarter collapses on defense: 12 percent

And here are some selected comments from voters ...

Zack (Baltimore): I think that if we even had a halfway decent running game (literally, the 16th-ranked running offense or better), we would've at least finished 11-5. Look at the rushing totals at Buffalo (24 rushing yards), against Green Bay (47) and at Cleveland (55). All of those games probably could have ended with wins.

Habte (Los Angeles): The horrible rushing game is what forced those interceptions (Joe Flacco had to throw too much) and what caused the defense to collapse in the fourth quarter (a better running game could have helped keep more possession time for the Ravens). Really, it all came down the epically bad offensive line, who blocked the rushers more than that blocked the blitzing defenders (Flacco had career high in sacks and hits).

Peter (New Orleans): While the lack of a running game stands out because of its expected strength and the apparent momentum from 2012, the fourth-quarter collapses were the biggest disappointment because they were the simplest way the Ravens could have avoided the disappointment of the season as a whole. Joe Flacco's interceptions and the running game are much more complicated problems than the few missed tackles and blown coverages that turned games and ultimately the season.

Colin (Baltimore): The biggest dissappointment for the Ravens this year wasn't even an option on the poll. The offensive line was by far the biggest disappointment. They were so bad it caused both of the problems of Ravens running game having the worst season in franchise history, as well as, Flacco's interceptions. All the problems the Ravens had on offense and be traced back to the offensive line.

JP (Baltimore): We had a lot of new starters on defense, and Joe Flacco just isn't the kind of quarterback who can excel surrounded by below average talent. But Ray Rice has been a stud ever since he's entered the league and has been the cornerstone the Raven's offense has been built around. When he's not going, the Raven's offense isn't going. And there was nothing last season or in the off season that gave any indication that we wouldn't be getting more of the same.

David (Washington, DC): My biggest disappointment is the fact that no one wants to blame Flacco. Flacco wants to be considered elite, than he has to play like he's elite no matter how bad the line is. How long has Big Ben played behind a bad O-line but still get's the job done?

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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