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Conservative Offense Still Works

When you watch the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys' offenses throw the ball all over the field at will, you can't help but be frustrated by the Ravens inability to do the same. But remember, today's Steve McNair should not ever be confused with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo (who reminds me of a young Brett Favre) or even the "young" Steve McNair. McNair shared the MVP trophy years ago with Manning, but was a surprising success that year, whereas Manning has consistently put up similar numbers year after year.  Brady has a great offensive line and now has an outstanding group of veteran receivers to stretch the field. McNair has,...well, he has a pair of very decent possession receivers (Mason, Clayton), a solid tight end who knows how to find the open seam (Heap) and a long threat (Williams). Together, they offer all the necessary scenerios for a successful passing game. However, the difference between the Ravens air attack and the aforementioned others is how the game is dictated. What is meant by that? McNair and Coach Brian Billick has both stated that they will take what the defense dictates, or offers them. If the secondary plays back, like they did in San Francisco, then McNair will accept the underneath options. On the other side of the ball, the opposing defenses game plan is obvious. Keep the Ravens out of the end zone, limiting them to field goals, and then hopefully get a break and score a quick touchdown to keep them in the game. Giving up long TD passes to the Ravens will make it very difficult to win against Baltimore's defense, even more so than a team such as the Colts. Therefore, McNair and the Ravens will be content to move the ball downfield little by little and not force the long ball when not available just to appease their frustrated fans. However, they will need to improve in the Red Zone and turn those field goals into TD's.