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First of all, we need to qualify the Ravens' wins over the last two weeks because of the level of competition that they were facing.
Unfortunately for Ray Rice, the Ravens cannot play against the Cleveland Browns and Colts defenses every week. If he could, there’s little doubt that he would easily have well over 2,000 yards from scrimmage.
Neither the Browns nor the Colts have an answer for Ray Rice on their roster or in their game plan. That’s just the truth.
With the way Rice is running the football, the only hope for teams like the Browns and the Colts of stopping the Ravens consistently would be if the Ravens somehow beat themselves—which isn’t exactly out of the question given their record against losing teams this season. The fact is that the Ravens offense should expect to have great games against that level of competition.
That being said, the Ravens made the most of their opportunities over the last two weeks, and they still should be. Their offense has been balanced. They have ran the ball extremely well and seemed to have streamlined their passing game.
Their balanced approach to the offense has made them more effective, but perhaps their biggest achievement over the last few games has been that they’ve managed to get everyone involved in the offense. They have accomplished that by playing to the strengths of their players and allowing them to play off of each other.
One of the keys to the Ravens offense is that they are versatile.
Despite what many of his critics would tell you, Joe Flacco is a good quarterback, but he’s not yet the kind of quarterback that can take over any game. He has one of the strongest, most accurate arms in the NFL is still lacking pocket and field awareness. He is a weapon that functions better when it’s complementing other weapons in the offense.
That is, Flacco isn’t a player like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, who will win games almost by themselves. The same could be said of Ray Rice.
As good as Rice is, he’s not the perfect running back. He’s definitely the best in the business when it comes to catching the football out of the backfield, but he’s not going to consistently run through arm tackles or push the pile like Jamal Lewis and Willis McGahee. Opposing teams have shown that Rice can be stopped in short yardage and goal-line situations if they exclusively commit to stopping the run.
That doesn’t mean that Flacco and Rice aren’t great players, because they really are. That just means that the Ravens aren’t always going to dominate games by simply riding either player all season long. They will need to find balance and build an offense around them, and that’s precisely what they’ve done.
The Ravens have used the struggles that they’ve had this season to build an offensive game plan that can beat teams in multiple ways. It’s been a long time coming and a rough developmental period, but the Ravens can now beat teams with Flacco and the passing game or Rice and the running game.
The Ravens may not have the best running or passing game in the league, but they have two very good, young players in Flacco and Rice. They have balanced their offense in a way where opposing defenses have to find a way to stop both the run and the pass simultaneously to stop them.
The Ravens certainly aren’t perfect on offense, but their balanced approach is the key to their success and the best building block for future games. That balanced offense is much more powerful than an offense with a maxed-out passing or running attack alone, and should help them beat any type of defense they face going forward.