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Ravens should have no shortage of red zone options

The Ravens effectiveness in the red zone dropped as a result of multiple factors, a big one being a lack of reliable targets. This year the Ravens should have no such problem.

Crockett Gillmore is one of many targets that should help the Ravens in the red zone.
Crockett Gillmore is one of many targets that should help the Ravens in the red zone.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens offense struggled at many things in 2013: rushing, pass blocking, third down situations and scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

Part of that was due to an impotent run game where a stuff was more likely than a score. Part of that was due to a lack of reliable targets.

Sure, Torrey Smith polished up his game and became more than just a deep threat and Marlon Brown caught seven touchdowns. But defenses were free to tee off on Smith, knowing that the Ravens lacked a clear No. 2 option. Brown was taking advantage of a bad situation — he's 6-5 with good height for a red zone target and far more reliable in that area than any other passing option the Ravens had.

Last season quarterback Joe Flacco's options outside of Smith and Brown were Dallas Clark, who was on his last legs, Ed Dickson, who dropped 20% of passes thrown to him, Tandon Doss, who's been unreliable his entire time as a Raven, and Jacoby Jones, whose effectiveness dwindles inside the 20.

This season Joe will have a healthy Dennis Pitta, whose rapport with Flacco is well known, Owen Daniels, who was a favored red zone target of Matt Schaub in Houston, Brown, who isn't likely to repeat 2013 but should still be effective, rookie Crockett Gillmore, who has the frame to be a mismatch and it has been reported that he's a reliable receiver from camp, and I'd say that Kyle Juszczyk, who's been lining up everywhere.

The Ravens should score more touchdowns in the red zone in 2014 as a result of gaining some reliable weapons for this offense to throw to.