The Baltimore Ravens are a team known for an ability to run the football, but over the past few years, they’ve neither shown it or even indicated interest in doing so. Against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, they made sure to reverse the narrative as offensive coordinator Marty Morninwheg dialed up a run heavy gameplan that was highly uncharacteristic of the reputation he had built in Baltimore over the past year.
With quarterback Joe Flacco just now returning to the lineup from a back injury, protecting him was critical. They did a pretty good job of doing so by leaning on the running backs to get the job done. Terrance West ran hard and opened up some play action looks that helped get Flacco comfortable.
It seems from what we saw that the addition of Greg Roman to coordinate the running game was a massive one. There was one drive in the third quarter which essentially sums up what could be different about this Ravens offense from last year:
#Ravens go 15 runs to 2 passes on a 10 minute drive. A lot of talk about "commitment" to run game in 2017.— Brett Hollander (@BrettHollander) September 10, 2017
In a word, that stat line is absolutely bananas. It’s totally different from the erratic 2016 offense that wasn’t on the field enough, and caused the defense to get gassed late in games. With the way the defense looked, keeping them rested is going to be key if the Ravens are going to win ball games in 2017.