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Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and Le'Ron McClain Good as It Gets for Baltimore Ravens

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 29: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens get a hand off from quarterback Joe Flacco #5 during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on August 29, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jarrett CarterAnalyst ISeptember 14, 2009

My heart was set on using this space to fret over the impending doom of three or four years from now, when the Ravens will be pained to decide which young superstars—Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain—they will retain for big money.

But right now, it’s easy on the eyes to watch this young backfield make opposing defenses squirm.  Where the team down the road is sprinkled with Pro Bowlers and confusion, the Baltimore Ravens have shown that talent plus offensive know how can position you for greatness.  Take the win over the Kansas City Chiefs, which the defense shockingly tried to give away in the late stages of yesterday’s game.

Rice was good on the ground, McClain was great blocking for him, and when the defense reacted to those two, Flacco put it in the air with precision.  No need to call the Ravens’ offense a unit that is on par with the New England Patriots; it had dry spells and took the game to the wire when it could’ve been put away late in the third quarter.  But it is fair to say that they have enough balance and enough confidence that they can put most teams back on their heels for more than two drives per game, something we could never say in past Ravens' campaigns.

So the time for planning is obviously now.  Even through one game, the Ravens can see that they have something good in the making.  It’s early, I know.  But there’s no reason to think that the Ravens haven’t put together a backfield that could be reminiscent of Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk in their heyday.  Passes out of the backfield, bombs down field, running when necessary.

If that ain’t enough to take out the Steelers, I don’t know what is. Only question is, how long will the tandem stay in tact?

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