Rob Long: How Can This Go On?

The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best offensive weapons in the National Football League, yet they lose a game by five points in which that weapon only touched the ball 14 times. Oh, he did throw a touchdown pass. The only problem with that is he’s a running back.

Ray Rice had five carries. Yes, five carries for a Pro-Bowl running back. If the Ravens were to beat the Minnesota Vikings 22-17 while Adrian Peterson had five carries, you’d laugh at Vikings’ offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and rightfully so.

While Cam Cameron keeps getting the blame, he has a boss and that is the guy I’m holding responsible. John Harbaugh is watching this mess but what is he doing about it? At some point you’d think the Head Coach would question the fact that his best offensive player went seven consecutive plays between the first and second quarters and then nine straight plays again later in the second quarter without touching the football. How is that acceptable? It’s almost as if they’re trying to make Rice irrelevant. I’m not sure why you would do such a thing, but it’s almost looking that way.

Chris Johnson has had a horrible season. In fact, he’s averaged fewer than three yards per carry in five out of his nine games played this year but he hasn’t had fewer than 10 carries since the first game of the season (9). The Tennessee Titans gave him 22 carries in a game against the Ravens where he averaged only 2.2 yards per carry. The Titans won that game. You have to feed the monster and Rice is this offense’s monster.

How can this go on? Who’s in charge? Is anyone going to address this so that it won’t happen a third time?

Rob Long

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Comments

One Comment

  1. JackDaniels says:

    THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS WEAK!!!!! I MEAN REALLY SAD WHEN IT COMES TO BLOCKING ON RUNNING PLAYS……….POOR RAY GETS STUFFED RIGHT BACK INTO THE BACKFIELD……………OHER IS SO OVER-RATED…..

    CAM NEEDS TO PUT HIS FOOT WAY UP THOSE O-LINEMAN’S A$$ES………….THEY’RE STANDING STRAIGHT UP AND RUBBING THEIR MAN-BREASTS AGAINST THE DEFENSIVE LINEMAN HOPING THAT WILL CREATE A HOLE…………..AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN………….THEY NEED TO GET ALL THAT FAT MOVING A LOT QUICKER AND BLOW THOSE D-LINEMEN BACK INTO THE SECONDARY………….THEY’RE ALL TOO SLOW AND TOO FAT!!!!!!!!!

    1. Jim says:

      I agree with Jack. Ray can only get so far when the O-line doesn’t create holes for him to run. Linebackers are watching film and see the O-line weaknesses they can capitalize upon. And what compounds this problem is that the play action pass only creates 1 second for Joe Flacco to pass. The LBs are onto it. That’s why only the gadget plays worked.

  2. alx1775 says:

    I’m not sure the O line is the problem. The O line had fine games against the 2nd best defense in the league, and against other notable defenses as well. Nope, I think there are several possibilities, either alone or in some combination.

    1. Ray Rice is in Cameron’s doghouse. The carries stopped coming when he fumbled against Jacksonville, and he hasn’t been the same runner since. It’s also possible the Cam has a “cooling off” period after a back commits a fumble (or two), Rice disagreed – maybe vocally – and the two are on the outs. Definite possibility and explains the lack of called running plays.

    2. Ray is hurt, and they are hiding the injury. This is not as ridiculous a premise as you might think. Teams game-plan for Ray Rice, and as long as he is on the field the defense will adjust. This allows Flacco more room to throw, and he has had a LOT of success throwing to tight ends because the additional linebacker coverage is directed toward containing Ray Rice. Definitely possible.

    3. Ray has lost confidence. Less likely, because even though Ray might not gain as many yards-per-carry, it wouldn’t explain the lack of called running plays.

    4. There is a contract dispute. I think Ray is in a contract year. This may be a case of him pouting because he hasn’t gotten his deal yet, or the team holding back because inflated stats demand more dough come contract time. Less possible, as I don’t see the front office throwing games just to save a few million on a contract deal. Ray might still be pouting, though.

    5. They are trying to develop the capability to run a passing offense so they can win playoff games where they fall behind, and to avoid being a “one dimensional” team. Since they have a good record, they plan a few games they can afford to risk to develop Flacco and the passing offense.

    There are variations on these themes. There may have been an altercation with Cam, which caused a rift that carried over into practices, along with the contract issue, while Ray is nursing a slight injury (that didn’t slow him on his 77 yard dash against the Steelers) – all of which mean Ray gets the ball less.

    Still weird. This team does a fantastic job controlling the message that goes out, even from disgruntled players. Whatever has happened, they are keeping it under close wraps. I hope it gets resolved soon and Ray can get his carries again.

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