Monday, October 22, 2012
Upon Further Review: Ravens
By Jamison Hensley
Revisiting the Baltimore Ravens' 43-13 loss at the Houston Texans:
It's easy to chalk up the 30-point loss to a banged-up Ravens defense. That would just be overlooking a disturbing trend: the Ravens' offense struggles on the road.
In their past 10 quarters on the road (at Philadelphia, Kansas City and Houston), the Ravens have produced one touchdown, one safety, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), six field goals and 13 punts.
The Ravens had hiccups on the road last season, scoring 13 points at Tennessee and seven points at Jacksonville. But Baltimore didn't have such a drought like this year.
It's a completely different offense when playing at home. There's a confidence and tempo at M&T Bank Stadium, where Baltimore is averaging 32.2 points in four home games.
“I don’t have an explanation for it,” wide receiver Torrey Smith told The Baltimore Sun. “If I did, we’d fix it. I don’t know. We’re calling the same stuff, running the same stuff. But for whatever reason, we haven’t been executing on the road well.”
That lack of execution has led to critical mistakes. The Ravens have turned the ball over six times in three road games and only twice in four home games.
Another huge difference is Joe Flacco's effectiveness. At home, he is completing 67 percent of his throws and is averaging 317 yards. On the road, he is connecting on 50 percent of his passes and is averaging 188.6 yards.
The Ravens need to come up with some solution during the bye. Three of Baltimore's four games in November are on the road.
STAT THAT STICKS: 27.8 -- Flacco's completion percentage on passes of 5 yards or longer (5-0f-18), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Flacco didn't complete a throw beyond 10 yards. In his first six games, Flacco had nearly averaged two completions over 30 yards per game.
OVERHEARD: "I had to come back against a good team because we all know how important those games in November and December are, and I didn't want to be still knocking the rust off when it comes down the stretch to those big games. I had to go against a team that was going to challenge me the most, and that was Houston. When you step in the shower, you're going to get wet, and it rained. Down the stretch, there's no excuse. I don't want to hear none of that come November, December. I want to be all of Terrell Suggs for them." Suggs told The Baltimore Sun after playing less than six months removed from surgery on his Achilles.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Ravens (5-2) have a much-needed bye before playing at the Browns (1-6) on Nov. 4. Baltimore has won eight straight over Cleveland.