USA TODAY Sports
It doesn't matter where the blame lies or is shared, the Ravens offense has been abysmal more often than not and that needs to change immediately if the team wants to go deep into the playoffs, much less win one of their two remaining games.
The Baltimore Ravens offensive woes were blamed on their offensive coordinator. After one week without him, the problems still remain. How long will it take before the changes are noticeable? Or not? Others blame the quarterback, offensive line and even wide receivers.
No matter who or or what positions are the current problems, there is no question or debate that they exist. The offense has proved it can score and score a lot of points. Twice the Ravens have scored over 40 points in a game and have four games over 30 points. In fact, the Ravens are 12th in he NFL in scoring average (24.9 ppg), ahead of teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers, all considered high-scoring offenses.
However, their third-down conversion percentage is 23rd in the league (35%), with the Washington Redskins (34%) the only other team with a winning record having a worse percentage than them. This was no more evident than their series of possessions in the first half of their 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos this past Sunday.
In order, the eight times they had the ball in the first 30 minutes ended like this: Fumble, 5-Punts, Interception, Kneel-down. Their four first-downs made no difference, as they were 0-6 in 3rd-down conversions.
The third quarter wasn't much better, as they touched the ball four times, managing a field goal on their first possession, followed by two straight punts and a failed fourth-down conversion.
Overall, the time-of-possession battle was more of a blitzkrieg, as the Broncos owned that statistic by a 38:34 to 21:26 margin, detailing the tone of the game in that one statistic alone.
What it comes down to, as bad as the defense has played, the offense needs to understand they can no longer rely on that side of the ball to hold opponents while the offense stutters and manages to score more than the defense allows. The defense has carried this team for the past decade but now it is time for the offense to shoulder that load. The Ravens do not need to go "New England Patriots" on every opponent, but they do need to control the ball and put six points on the board instead of three.
They need to start and finish drives and most importantly, when they have a lead, they need to press their collection cleats down on the throats of their opponents, not let up, not go into that "prevent-offense," and keep scoring until the other team cries "Uncle!" Fans will never complain about running up the score and neither will the players or coaches.
Get the offense moving, be creative (when was the last time this offense tried a trick play, and I'm not counting the Donte Stallworth end-around!?). Use RB Ray Rice in the running game but also in the passing attack. Rice did not touch the ball nor was he targeted in the fourth quarter. Not even once.
Forget about where to place the blame, it obviously exists. Whether or not we believe, as fans, that changes need tobe made, they are not happening now. So get used to the personnel you see each week and hope that the team can get its act together and return to the potential that we know they are capable of, which is where the frustration comes from in the first place.