The Ravens heard a lot of praise for their offensive performance against the Bengals in Week One.
They aren’t hearing too much positivity about their work in Sunday’s 24-23 loss to the Eagles. The Ravens blew a pair of leads in the second half, leading some to wonder why they allowed running back Ray Rice to run the ball nine times in the second half while Joe Flacco was putting up 25 passes. Most notably, their final two offensive plays of the game were a third and fourth-and-one and the Ravens called passes both times. They fell incomplete and the Eagles just kneeled down to ice the win.
Coach John Harbaugh didn’t say he agreed with those who wondered about the balance, but he did say that it was fair to wonder if the Ravens did the right thing.
“We thought about running the ball, yeah, but we thought we had some good calls,” Harbaugh said after the game, via Robert Klemko of USA TODAY. “I think that’s fair. You could have called a draw or something there, but you know they were bringing some heat, and they were hugging the backs too. It would have been hit or miss. I think that’s a fair thing to talk about.”
That’s good news for Rice, who had 78 of his 99 rushing yards in the first half, because that’s just what he did in his own comments after the game.
“I am not the playcaller,” Rice said. “I just do what I’m asked to do when my name is called. There were sometimes that we were third-and-short and I would have loved to see our fullback get some more calls. We have a great fullback in Vonta Leach and he can get us first downs.”
Give the Eagles credit for doing their share to quiet the Ravens offense and all those who were hailing the dawn of a brave new world for the Ravens offense less than a week ago should take a deep breath and remember that one week of a 16-game season never tells the entire story.