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Friday, January 27, 2023

Ravens Offense Must Show Up Soon

The Baltimore Ravens offensive struggles have surfaced over the last month. In fact, Baltimore hasn’t scored at least 20 points since November 27 when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 28-27. A lot of the struggles can be tied to not having Lamar Jackson under center. Jackson has missed the last four games due to a knee injury. There’s no telling exactly when Jackson will be back. In the meantime, Harbaugh is trying to keep things the same with Tyler Huntley as the quarterback, but it’s complicated. “I’m just going to listen to the doctors and to Lamar [Jackson], and we’re prepared,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “The offense is not going to change dramatically between Lamar and Tyler [Huntley]. So, how they play their styles, certainly, they apply that. Do you know what I mean? The way Lamar plays and the way Tyler plays, the way a player plays, they apply that to our system and the way we play.” “Our plays are built for those types of quarterbacks. They’re built for Lamar. Our offense is built for Lamar, around Lamar, and to play with Lamar’s talents and abilities – that’s what we’re built for. The way Lamar plays it, and [the way] Tyler plays the same offense, they play it slightly differently, because they’re different unique individuals.” The issues extend beyond quarterback. Despite adding veterans like Demarcus Robinson, DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins, the Ravens have gotten limited production from the wide receiver position. The receivers finished with just two receptions for 18 yards in the Ravens 16-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was more the flow of the game rather than what the Steelers were doing to stop the receivers. “Not specifically,” Harbaugh said of the Steelers plan. “I think the ball could have gone there a few times, and it didn’t, and Mark [Andrews] got a lot of targets. It’s not like we threw the ball a lot. But there are times it could have gone there and it didn’t – not to say it should have. It’s just that’s the way the game plays out sometimes.” Andrews leads the Ravens with 73 receptions, 847 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. He’s a bona fide threat, but there is limited help in the passing game. “Just get better, you know, we’re a dangerous team, and I know there’s a fire in this group, there’s fire today, and I don’t think the score indicates that, but we’ll be alright,” Andrews said. Huntley tried to summarize the offensive struggles after the loss. “We’re driving down there, we just have to finish the drive. [We have to] stop getting three [points]; get seven [points]. That’s what we just have to keep striving for. That’s it.” Whatever the issue is, the Ravens have to figure it out in time to get a win against the Cincinnati Bengals and at a minimum secure a postseason berth. Given the uncertainty behind the Bengals game against the Buffalo Bills being postponed due to safety Damar Hamlin’s severe injury, there isn’t much that can be done to win the AFC North. There’s a chance that Jackson could return which adds one of the most dynamic players in the league to the offense. However, the Ravens will need more from the offense as a whole, if they are to make a deep playoff run.

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