The Baltimore Ravens are looking to rebound from its 5-11 season in 2015 and while the Ravens organization has another playoff run on its mind, one legend and future Hall of Fame running back has doubts about the Ravens in 2016.
As NFL Network was following the Ravens training camp recently, Tomlinson said the following about the Ravens status in the AFC North:
I think they’re (Ravens) fighting for the third spot honestly. . . I think Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to me, they are head above hills over these (Ravens) guys. I just don’t think talent wise that they can compete.
Tomlinson also had a little bit of criticism for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as well.
I always thought that Joe Flacco played his best football when they (Ravens) had a really solid running game. When they can really use the play-action pass and they can push the ball down the field. . . When they tried to rely on him (Flacco) a little bit too much, really make it his offense and you know, really throw the football for the most part and forgetting about the run like they have done in the past, I thought he struggled.
During the broadcast, Tomlinson went on to say (paraphrasing) that if the Ravens can find a running game, it would help Flacco a lot and that the Ravens could surprise a lot of people.
Tomlinson is not wrong about the struggles that the Ravens have had in the past in terms of throwing the ball too much. In Flacco’s career, when he throws the ball at least 40 times, the Ravens are 8-19 (including playoffs).
However, those struggles that Flacco has had with at least 40 pass attempts in a game, also has had to do with the fact that he has never had a game-breaking wide receiver or tight end who can take over a game on a consistent basis the way the other top tier quarterbacks have had in past and in the present.
So it really isn’t fair to just say Flacco isn’t good when the offense relies on him. Other moving parts count as well.
The only thing that got me about Tomlinson’s comments about the Ravens was the fact that he believes that the Steelers are so far above the Ravens. That’s funny when you consider that the Ravens swept the Steelers last year with backups all over the Ravens roster. I don’t think the Ravens are that far off from the Steelers and Bengals.
I guess we will just have to wait and see in 2016.