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Ravens John Harbaugh acknowledges four spots on offense that need improvement

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Like halftime adjustments, bye weeks are perfect to bring to light the areas a team needs to work on. Being that the Ravens are in, record-wise, the toughest division in football, the coaching staff spent this down time to educate themselves on how to elevate their style of play and offense's woes, especially since their remaining schedule is filled with teams also trying to establish and solidify their identities.

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Head Coach John Harbaugh and his assistants spent the first few days of their bye week replaying the 10 games of their 2014 campaign. Their main objective: to search for the holes in their offense and reasons for its inconsistencies.

  1. Eliminating turnovers
  2. Third-down efficiency
  3. Capitalizing in red zone
  4. Hitting big plays
These were the four hottest items Harbs jotted in his notebook. If the Ravens stay mindful of completing these four points, Christmas might come early for all of us.
Ravens upcoming schedule
In chronological order, the defenses the Ravens will face are currently ranked: 20th, ninth, second, 29th, 30th, and 22nd. The absence of teams ranked 10th through 19th is unsettling. This could mean that none of the defenses listed are recognized as average, a perfect storm for underestimations. The closest team to average (16th) are the 20th-ranked Saints, who host this Sunday. ... on the same dome and turf that saved Andy Dalton's face from falling off the foot of the world three days ago.

Moving forward, the Ravens offense will need to impose their style of play. The opponents remaining on Baltimore's schedule will indubitably test the team's grit. At this point in the season last year, Flacco had thrown 11 interceptions. He has eight this time around, but who knows -- after watching Dalton record his highest single-game rating of his career, No. 5 could easily get trigger-happy and throw three interceptions in a jiffy.
"The turnovers are where it starts," Harbaugh said. "You have to be aggressive and you have to make plays at the same time. You can’t turn the ball over. You have to find a balance where the big plays outshadow the turnovers by a wide margin."
It's disappointing to see Marlon Brown's 2014 stat sheet. The freak of nature has been heavily undermined this season. At this point in 2013, he had triple the amount of receptions he does now (27) and even missed a game during that stretch. Brown has 10 receptions for 93 yards up-to-date. Please, unless you've been waiting until now to unleash the secret weapon, the destroyer must be deployed ASAP, in the red zone especially.

"Scoring touchdowns in the red zone, we’ve been up and down on that," Harbaugh said. "When we do that, we’re pretty effective."

Kubiak's 12th-ranked offense must improve on short-yardage situations. Third-down efficiency is sad, but true, and the Ravens rank 22nd in the NFL with a 39.8 percent success rate at converting third downs. With bruisers Lorenzo Taliaferro and Bernard Pierce in the backfield, they rank last in the league by converting just 52.4 percent of their third-and-1 situations. The Ravens will need to establish their ground attack as inclement weather draws nearer.

More importantly, a 1-0 mentality is what needs to be engraved into their minds right now.