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The Ravens are terrible this year at starting games

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Is it a flaw in the game plans, execution, or both?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

This years Ravens team has many flaws, and although the defense has been responsible for blowing leads in almost every loss this season, the offense shares the blame. A big issue for the offense has been starting slow. Jamison Hensley in a blog post, Ravens lead league in hitting snooze button on offense, quoted these stats for the Ravens on first drives, which is just terrible:

Look at these troubling numbers on the Ravens' six opening drives this season:

Total yards: 48 (last in NFL)

Passing yards per attempt: 3.14 (31st in NFL)

Rushing yards per attempt: 1.12 (last in NFL)

First downs: Three (Tied for last)

Points: 0 (Tied for last)

As Hensley also writes, the Ravens have more punts than points on first down, and are 1 of only 2 teams (the Texans are the other) without a point on opening drives. And the  Ravens under coach John Harbaugh are 52-13 (.800) when scoring first and 21-32 (.396) the opponent does.

This was also an issue under Gary Kubiak at times, but Kubiak had games where he had the Ravens come out slinging, like against Tampa Bay and San Diego. Trestman has consistently had little success early in games, and it seems like the Ravens are always playing from behind, which is not good for a team that does not have the offensive firepower to regularly win shootouts.

It may be too late for this season, but hopefully this is something that will be addressed and fixed before next season. Most of the Ravens personnel will likely be back on offense, with Flacco, most of the offensive line, and all the tight ends and running backs under contract for next year. The main changes will be at wide receiver, where Steve Smith is slated to retire, Aiken, Brown, and Givens are free agents, and Perriman has yet to play this year. So any improvements by the offense would be something the team could use to build on for next season. Let us hope these kind of issues disappear and do not return.