The Ravens got off the plane in Oakland on the heels of two truly awful displays against the Jaguars and the Steelers. The offense had been terrible in both of those games, really struggling to move the ball at all. The team needed to rebound in the worst way against the Raiders.
And that’s exactly what they did.
After scoring a total of 16 points in two games, the Ravens dropped 30 on the Raiders defense and put up 366 total yards. Sure, the Raiders don’t have an elite defense, but the Ravens offense returned to form and played a great game.
Any analysis of the offense in this game starts and ends with the offensive line, which played a stellar game. This is a unit that is incredibly beat up, including being without star guard Marshal Yanda. During the game Matt Skura went down with an injury, putting rookie Jermaine Eluemunor in the game. With a group comprised mostly of backups and facing the NFL’s best edge rusher in Khalil Mack, it would have been fair to predict Flacco to be running around in the pocket.
But Flacco was kept clean. The Ravens didn’t allow a single sack, and Flacco was hit only twice in the whole game. Throughout the entire game, Flacco had a nice pocket, and he looked very comfortable when dropping back into it.
Being comfortable in the pocket led to a good game for Flacco, who completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards. We didn’t see Flacco rush throws, and we didn’t the poor accuracy that has plagued him in the last two games. Flacco broke his streak of 10 straight games with an interception as he didn’t turn the ball over at all against Oakland.
Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg finally opened up the passing game for Flacco, and Flacco took advantage. The Ravens quarterback threw the ball downfield often in this game instead of dumping it off almost every play. Mike Wallace was a huge beneficiary of this, as he hauled in two deep passes from Flacco of over 50 yards.
In previous weeks, the Ravens threw the ball short of first down yardage on third downs, and expected the receivers to break tackles and pick up a first. Today, they threw the ball beyond the marker. Late in the fourth quarter, the Ravens picked up two key first downs as the Ravens drove down the field and eventually kicked a field goal to make it 30-17.
The great game from the offensive line also led to a strong day running the ball. The Ravens totaled 143 yards rushing in the win. Javorius Allen had 71 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Alex Collins had 55 yards on 12 carries. Both were able to get yards after contact, but the Ravens offensive line often opened up big holes for the running backs to burst through.
All in all, it was a much needed good game from the Ravens offense. The offense, especially the offensive line, needed to rebound, and they did that and more. This performance is something that the Ravens need to bottle up and continue throughout the season. The Ravens were able to get themselves back on track this week, and have the offensive line to thank.