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At 2.78 yards a carry, Ravens’ running offense is beyond bad

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

Saying the Ravens’ running attack has been bad this year is like saying Battlefield Earth was a bad movie or Small Wonder was a bad TV show. Calling it “bad” isn’t going nearly far enough.

With 573 yards on 206 carries, the Ravens are currently averaging 2.78 yards per carry, which is not just the worst mark in the NFL this year but the worst mark in the NFL in 60 years. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, that’s the lowest yards per carry average of any NFL team since the 1953 Giants, who averaged 2.64 yards a carry. The Ravens will need a major turnaround to avoid being the first team since the 1994 Patriots to average less than three yards a carry for a season.

Heading into this season, most people would have said the Ravens had one of the better backfield situations in the league, with running back Ray Rice backed up by Bernard Pierce, and All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach opening holes for them and the strong-armed Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco forcing opposing defenses to respect the deep ball and not stack the line of scrimmage. But it hasn’t worked out that way. The Ravens’ offensive line has seriously struggled, and both Rice and Pierce have both had nagging injuries and are averaging 2.7 yards a carry.

Still, Rice said this week that he’s confident in Baltimore’s running game. Given the results so far this season, not many people share Rice’s confidence.

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54 Responses to “At 2.78 yards a carry, Ravens’ running offense is beyond bad”
  1. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 9, 2013 11:56 AM

    LOL worst o-line in NFL history.

  2. wryly1 says: Nov 9, 2013 11:58 AM

    At least twice last summer, I posted here that Ravens would do well to get to .500 this year. I got thumbs down by 2:1.

  3. bucrightoff says: Nov 9, 2013 12:05 PM

    Because teams are stacking the box daring Joe Flacco to beat them, but without Pitta and Boldin to catch his jump balls no one is there to bail him out.

  4. classyjacklambert says: Nov 9, 2013 12:07 PM

    At least they still have jump ball Joe still throwing it at Torrey Smith’s general direction.

  5. siggtacular says: Nov 9, 2013 12:09 PM

    Rice will have 100 yards against the Super Bowl-less Bungles

  6. ledzep826 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:11 PM

    the whole team is bad especialy that elite qb joe flucco . superbowl chumps season is done after sunday a loss to the bengals is the dagger in your heart . NO PLAYOFFS FOR YOU!!!!!

  7. raiderlyfe510 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:14 PM

    Shouldn’t have fired Matsko. He was a good O Line coach. Good teacher.

    Well Bob Wylie is available who my Raiders were misguided to fire. D McFadden and the Raiders running game haven’t been the same without him. The Raiders O Line were bullies under Wylie.

  8. atleastimnotaraidersfan says: Nov 9, 2013 12:15 PM

    But at least jump ball rainbow joe flaccid got paid…

  9. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:20 PM

    They’re really missing Boldin. If you think it was bad for the Pats to let Welker get away, the Ravens getting rid of Boldin has hurt them far worse.

  10. cjnunes426 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:22 PM

    idiots thought that firing cam cameron was a good idea.

  11. wwttww says: Nov 9, 2013 12:26 PM

    Worse than the Falcons line? Ouch.

  12. timmons94 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:28 PM

    they stink right now…but who cares ??? They won the Super Bowl…Browns and Bengals fans…please take notes…….

  13. mdpickles says: Nov 9, 2013 12:29 PM

    Is Juan Castillo still the Run game coordinator?

  14. insman1017 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:32 PM

    LMAO. It’s funny how these nobody’s comment on the SUPERBOWL CHAMPS, wishing they had one… Steelers fans, stop living in the past. No one cares about your past rings. As bad as we are, we’re still above you. Shouldn’t yall be in the 40 and over league….LOL….SMH

  15. timmons94 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:42 PM

    pas???t…. 5 years ago…wow, light years ago….
    u played a big part in that super bowl didn’t u insman…
    Flacco was 29th rated qb for 17 weeks, threw a ball up for grabs, they got lucky and won it all…enjoy…U R DONE FOR A LONG TIME

  16. jfsargent3 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:48 PM

    Small Wonder was awesome

  17. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 9, 2013 12:50 PM

    Mediocre Joe

  18. heyblueyoustink says: Nov 9, 2013 12:59 PM

    Easy on Small Wonder there, big fella.

  19. mrconnors says: Nov 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    Ray Rice is the most overrated player in the league. He seemingly fumbles once every 10 snaps in the playoffs. Just because he catches 80 balls a year from Average Joe (who can dump it off or chuck it 750 feet in the air downfield) doesn’t make him a great player.

  20. anonymous135 says: Nov 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    Amazing what happens when you lose an above average pass catching TE in Pitta and solid if not spectacular consistency of a reliable WR opposite your speedster in Torrey Smith a la Bodin.

    That’s probably 10-20 yards of cushioning space on the field that they lost for the skills positions.

  21. ravensenvysteelers says: Nov 9, 2013 1:16 PM

    Lmfao!!

  22. joemammy says: Nov 9, 2013 1:29 PM

    The low average doesn’t surprise me. The Ratbirds have had to face the CLEVELAND BROWNS twice.

  23. dcapettini says: Nov 9, 2013 1:38 PM

    I can’t help but wonder why your commentators are focusing in on Joe Flacco when the article concerns the lack of a running game. Is joe supposed to be blocking linebackers or running the ball? As a matter of fact, his avg. yards per rush is the best on the team.

    I am especially curious as to why the Steeler fans find this situation so amusing since the Steelers are sitting in last place at 2-6. If the Steelers are “God’s Team” he must not care much about football. As for the Bengals, when they win a playoff game, let me know. The last time I checked, they are the only team that has ever lost to the Texans in the playoffs – twice.

    On a more serious note, perhaps running inside the tackles is not the best plan for the Ravens. Gradkowski can neither run block or pass block. We have 2 expensive tackles and a Pro Bowl FB, so why not run outside the tackles? And why not roll out to pass since the middle is so clogged up, courtesy of Mr. Gradkowski again.

  24. bmore55 says: Nov 9, 2013 1:46 PM

    Its not Boldin they miss yes he was a bog part of the offense last year if Pitta didn’t have a freak injury the receiving core would be just fine torrey has stepped up and Brown has filled in just fine what they miss the most is Matt Birk if people would watch the games they would know what they are talking about

  25. pats777 says: Nov 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    Ray Ray has gone the CJ2K route… hasn’t done squat since getting paid. Joe Joe heading in the same direction.

  26. packerbackernj says: Nov 9, 2013 2:03 PM

    insman1017 says:
    LMAO. It’s funny how these nobody’s comment on the SUPERBOWL CHAMPS, wishing they had one… Steelers fans, stop living in the past. No one cares about your past rings. As bad as we are, we’re still above you. Shouldn’t yall be in the 40 and over league….LOL….SMH

    ——–
    Someone should tell this guy the ravens won the super bowl LAST season…putting his super bowl championships in the PAST….and then tells steeler fans to stop living the the past…common sense fail…smh.

  27. grandpoopah says: Nov 9, 2013 2:14 PM

    With that sort of production, Jim Irsay might trade his entire 2015 draft class for the Ravens backfield.

  28. larrydavid7000 says: Nov 9, 2013 2:17 PM

    this just verify what a J O K E this team was last year. ny giants 2.0 and not even the number one team in their own city. LOL and a huge LMAO. !!!!!!! world CHUMPS.!!!!!!!

  29. flaccodelic says: Nov 9, 2013 2:24 PM

    It’s true, the Ravens are terrible this year. And yet, for the third straight year and counting, they are still better than the Steelers. Hence the delight of the Yinzer trolls who apparently don’t know how to read the standings.

  30. coachbeck says: Nov 9, 2013 2:49 PM

    The Bengal TE’s and Gio Bernars are going to shine this week. They hold the ball and with the ravens unable to hold it themselves. That ravens defense is gonna be tired.

  31. thesteelskirt says: Nov 9, 2013 3:07 PM

    Rice looks like an old man out there at 24, the steelers were taking him down with shoe string tackles. Maybe his heavy wallet is dragging him down like it has disrupted Flacco’s equilibrium causing poor accuracy. Either way I love to see the top 3 salaries on a rival doing a lot of nothing.

  32. scoobies05 says: Nov 9, 2013 3:12 PM

    certainly cant say that the article is wrong. the run game has been awful. but to steeler fans…2 and 6. bengal fans and browns fans. win something first

  33. oldcracker says: Nov 9, 2013 3:42 PM

    After the butt kicking the Crows got in Cleveland, I feel concern for them facing the Bengals. (Maybe they should’ve traded for T-Rich)

    Oh well, “In Ozzie, we trust.”

    Bbwahahahahahaha!!!

  34. jmblosser82 says: Nov 9, 2013 3:49 PM

    Yes, ravens have 1 more win then the steelers, but are 0-1 head to head. The season is not over yet.

    Brown and Bengals don’t need to win something to talk down to Steeler and ravens fans. They are winning this year and we are not. Raven nation keep bragging about your 5 straight years of playoffs, you still lost 4 straight years. Steelers are in 4th but it’s still their division, they’ve owned it for years.

  35. partmachine says: Nov 9, 2013 4:18 PM

    Ravens are the Super Bowl champs until a new team dethrones them.

    Ravens have been outscored by just 14 points in their last 5 losses combined. Of course I’m leaving out the Denver game.

    The eye test is much worse, they’re playing like crap. But a couple little changes let alone many big changes will makes all the difference.

    Flacco is fine, Rice is fine, O-line not fine.

    And to all the idiots saying they called it, they called a .500 or worse season, shut up. Show me where you described this season and then you’ll get some credit.

  36. opneon says: Nov 9, 2013 4:30 PM

    Flacco would be doing fine if he had a supporting cast and some blocking…and especially coaching.

    The problem lies in coaching, mostly with Juan Castillo (a reject from the Eagles where Harbs came from) trying to change what the Ravens had done successfully for 15 years, and for some reason, Jim Caldwell hardly using Vonte Leach. We win when Leach plays 20+ plays and lose like last week when he was in for 2 plays…WHAT? How stupid are these guys in charge? And I thought Harbs was going to change this during the bye week – but guess loyalty is more important than winning…and your own job.
    Comeonman!

  37. opneon says: Nov 9, 2013 4:36 PM

    PS – I didn’t expect to the win the SB again, especially after losing key players. But I thought we would be competitive, so we better straighten soon or it could be a little embarrassing.
    However, most fans would love their team to do as well long-term – so I’m still glad to be a fan.

  38. oriolesvsravens says: Nov 9, 2013 4:40 PM

    I think that John wants to make this his team more than it was last year. Hires Castillo to implement the zone blocking scheme, gets rid of the out spoken team leaders that didn’t retire. This team takes Vonta Leach back and uses him less. The Pitta injury doesn’t mean much because Joe isn’t getting rid of the ball on time and there is no continuity on that o-line. This coaching staff is too stubborn to change so it’s up to the players to execute.

  39. itsfootballbaby says: Nov 9, 2013 4:45 PM

    Small Wonder was the greatest bad show ever….Bar none.

  40. watermelon1 says: Nov 9, 2013 5:27 PM

    When nobody respects or fears your quarterback…. It’s easy to shut down any run game.

    Sorry flacco lovers… But it is NOT the offensive line. It’s flacco. He sucks.

    Yes, he’s never missed the playoffs because he’s been on a STRONG TEAM. And yes… He had good numbers to get to the Super Bowl. But that was great pkays by the refeivers. Flacco didn’t so anything special except not turn the ball over.

    Sorry folks… But flacco sucks.

  41. flaccodelic says: Nov 9, 2013 5:37 PM

    jmblosser82 says:
    Nov 9, 2013 3:49 PM

    …Steelers are in 4th but it’s still their division, they’ve owned it for years.

    —–

    There’s that trademark Steeler fan logic at work. It was clearly your division last year, when the Ravens won it and then also won the Super Bowl. Great point, as usual.

  42. northshorejag says: Nov 9, 2013 5:47 PM

    Is Ozzie still a Genuis for getting Monroe?

  43. mrwalterisgod says: Nov 9, 2013 5:49 PM

    raiderlyfe510 says:
    Nov 9, 2013 12:14 PM
    Shouldn’t have fired Matsko. He was a good O Line coach. Good teacher.

    Well Bob Wylie is available who my Raiders were misguided to fire. D McFadden and the Raiders running game haven’t been the same without him. The Raiders O Line were bullies under Wylie.
    ==========

    I think Tom Cable had more to do with the run game in Oakland. He’s done wonders in Seattle.

  44. raiderlyfe510 says: Nov 9, 2013 6:17 PM

    Cable had nothing to do with it. Hue Jackson and Bob Wylie had full. Control of the offense. Cable was phased out of the offense as he served his lame duck year.

    Cable and his weak Pass Protecting O Lines has carried over to Seattle though. That’s for sure.

  45. felonius1 says: Nov 9, 2013 6:20 PM

    I still think it’s a mixture of things, but the one that I notice the most on Sundays is Gradkowski. He’s a great player but he doesn’t call the protections that Birk did. Yes he may be learning them still and what not but so many times you see botched protection and someone will just waltz on through the line and blow up the play.

  46. lionsden1317 says: Nov 9, 2013 6:50 PM

    opneon says:

    PS – I didn’t expect to the win the SB again, especially after losing key players. But I thought we would be competitive, so we better straighten soon or it could be a little embarrassing.
    However, most fans would love their team to do as well long-term – so I’m still glad to be a fan.

    ==================================

    Not a Ravens fan but this is one of the most honest assessments I have heard from a Ravens fan. Losing key players, for any team, is tough but to do it right after winning the Super Bowl is doubly tough. Keep the faith and hang in there, I feel that they are only a couple of solid linemen away from getting back to the playoffs.

  47. jmblosser82 says: Nov 9, 2013 7:22 PM

    Flaccodelic, every team has its lows it’s part of the game. Steelers are struggling but not for long. How many times in the past 5 years did the steelers drop the ravens out if the playoffs? How’s the ravens losing record, both at home and on the road, against Pittsburgh treating you? 8 division titles since the ravens became a “new” team, 10 total play off appearances in that span as well. The ravens have 4 division titles and 9 playoff appearances. So yea, the Steelers have owned the division for years and they will take back ownership soon enough.

  48. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 9, 2013 8:13 PM

    What’s even more concerning is that 2.78 yds is about what the passing yds per attempt also are.

  49. sbaltimore says: Nov 9, 2013 8:14 PM

    Juan Castillo, not satisfied with destroying the Eagles’ defense with his “WIDE-9″ disaster, decided, with the help of his good buddy John Harbaugh, to go for the daily double, effectively destroying the staple of the Ravens offense for over a decade…the running game. WTG, Juan.

  50. flaccodelic says: Nov 9, 2013 9:55 PM

    Jmblosser82- It’s true every team has its down periods. Like the Steelers first 60 years or so. I’ve never suggested the Steelers aren’t a strong franchise that’s worthy of respect or that the Steelers don’t pose an extremely tough challenge every time. But this arrogance of the fan base is insufferable. Get the hell over yourselves and stop acting like the history is better. If Baltimore football fans started talking about the success the Colts had winning championships in the 50s, 60s and early 70s while the Steelers were in their seventh consecutive decade of irrelevance you’d say it’s not the same team so that doesn’t count. Just like you all said all that counts is Super Bowl wins. Until the Ravens pulled even and won their second with a semi-recent squad. Now it’s all about some other stat. Cool story bro. Despite all those 3 point victories over the Ravens in the past, the Ravens are the current Super Bowl champs and have a better current record than the Steelers. Which is what actually matters, since you don’t seem to get that.

  51. jmblosser82 says: Nov 9, 2013 10:22 PM

    Flaccodelic, sure they had 1 playoff appearance in the first 40 years. It was a different game 80 years ago, 40 years ago, and even 20 years ago. Congrats on your teams 2 franchise victories, steelers went to 3 in that span. The steelers have a winning record over every team in the division, obviously the only franchise in the division that can say that. It’s not arrogance when your team earns it. I’ll take my teams first 40 sucky years cause they had 40 years if mostly dominance .

  52. jmblosser82 says: Nov 9, 2013 10:26 PM

    And I get your team won the most recent SB and current have a better record but there is still 8 games left.

  53. pabrownsfan says: Nov 10, 2013 10:41 AM

    Wow. Color me shocked. I thought for sure it would have been my Browns.

  54. cfeeley52 says: Nov 11, 2013 2:26 PM

    jmblosser82 says:
    I’ll take my teams first 40 sucky years cause they had 40 years if mostly dominance .
    ———————————–
    40 years of dominance? How many playoff games did you win between 1980 and 2004? Heck, how many playoff games did you even go to in that span? Their history is more accurately described as sucky for 40 years, one decade of dominance, sucky for another 24 years, then a half decade of dominance, and now back to suckyness. 54 years of suckyness compared to 15 years of success…

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