Offense takes lead?
The Baltimore Ravens celebrated their Super Bowl victory anniversary this past Sunday, and when you think back to that championship team, you think of their dominating defense. In fact, the 2000 Ravens Super Bowl team had one of the best defenses in NFL history, surrendering only 165 points in a 16-game season (10.3 points per game). That record still holds today. But, in an ironic twist, it was the Ravens offense who saved the day by continuing to score points after the defense gave up so many to the Buffalo Bills offense.
At this point of the season, the offensive unit is taking the lead— and it might be the unit that is instrumental in getting the Ravens to playoffs. While the defense struggles (secondary falling apart in the last 2 weeks and also ranked 17th against the run), the offense is starting to gel. QB Joe Falcco is developing a rapport with his receivers, including Anquan Boldin who has made key plays. TE Todd Heap is finally involved with the offense. And don’t look now, but WR Donte’ Stallworth should be ready to play after the bye week— who has been recovering from a broken foot. Not to mention Ray Rice hasn’t really had a breakout game this year, so you can expect he will; there are only so many games where opposing defenses can keep Rice in check.
Defense Has Work To Do
The critical talk of Joe Flacco and his slow start has subsided. Now the defense is under the microscope because in the past two games the unit gave up a fourth quarter lead. Ravens fans have a high standard for our defense. We expect teams to be shut down by Ray Lewis. Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, and alike. And of course, the Ravens defense is never supposed to give up a lead.
Defense Should Improve
But don’t forget how the defense fared well through the first part of the season without FS Ed Reed while facing a daunting schedule. One more fact: Ray Lewis just about single-handedly helped secure 3 victories for the team; the hit on Dustin Keller in the Jets game, the interception in Pittsburgh, and the strip against the Bills. You can be sure they will improve after their latest performance.
Ebb & Flow
Of course there will be ups and downs during the course of the season on both sides of the ball. But for now, a slight trend has started. The offense is starting to become the unit that can be relied upon to consistently score points. They have the ability to score when the team falls behind. It should be safe to say that the Ravens now have an offense.