Baltimore Ravens Offense Must Go Back To Balanced Attack Against Denver Broncos

Old AccountSenior Writer IOctober 9, 2010

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 03: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass behind LaMarr Woodley #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 3, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Baltimore won the game 17-14. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens return home to face the Denver Broncos, with questions about the offense still looming.

Entering Week 5 of the 2010 season, the Ravens are 22nd in total offense, averaging only 15 points a game. This is a big disappointment for the unit, despite the acquisitions of Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh.

And for now, I am able to digest the problem, and understand what the issue is. Right now, it is a lack of balance within Cam Cameron's system.

It didn't help the Ravens to play two top-five defenses on the road within the first four weeks of the season. The running game stalled, with Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Leron McClain banged up within the early month of the season.

Joe Flacco also began a rough start due to the lack of chemistry with his receivers. Though Anquan Boldin emerged as a threat from Week 1, Derrick Mason wasn't getting as many passes thrown his way in the first few weeks.

TJ Houshmandzadeh wasn't much of a factor through the first three weeks, having a slow time adjusting to the new system.

However, in last week's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it all began to change. It was clear that Flacco was in sync with all three of his receivers. Anquan Boldin was utilized in the short passing game, while Flacco went with the deep ball to Derrick Mason.

And the game ended with TJ Houshmandzadeh's first touchdown reception as a Raven from a bomb by Joe Flacco into the end zone.

The offensive performance may be different than it was in 2009, but the strategy is still the same. Head coach John Harbaugh, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, want to give Flacco more freedom within the offense, building a connection with all of his targets.

Last season, they took the chains off Joe Flacco, letting the offense become pass happy at first, and then allowing them to learn from their mistakes. However, by the end of the year, Ray Rice emerged as one of the best running backs in the league when given the opportunity to the run the ball.

The balanced attack needs to come alive this week at home against the Denver Broncos. Denver does not have a top defense by any means, and their best defensive player in Elvis Dumervil is out for the season.

Champ Bailey is the only corner back worth being scared off within the Broncos secondary. Denver has improved their running defense, but has not faced a running game such as the Ravens.

The questions will continue to loom around the Ravens offense. If history repeats itself, the Ravens offense will get it together and create a balanced unit that makes them a contender for this years title.


Matt Miselis is a Baltimore Ravens Featured Columnist for He is also a contributor to's NFL Blog Blitz as a Ravens writer

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