1. Limit mistakes. For the last-place Baltimore Ravens (2-6), today's game
against the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3) at Alltel Stadium could represent a
telling sign of what kind of football can be expected from this lackluster team
in the second half of the season. The Ravens haven't won a road game since last
November, nearly a full calendar year, with seven consecutive road losses that
includes four this year. Their struggles have been well-documented with losses
in 10 of their past 14 games. The Ravens don't run or pass particularly well.
Their defense doesn't generate many turnovers. The team has a minus-eight
turnover differential that's the worst in the AFC. Plus, the Ravens' only two
wins this year are against the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets, who have
a combined record of 5-11. The ineptitude could cost people jobs. Despite the
presence of 15 former Pro Bowl selections, this team has underachieved. It's
critical for Ravens coach Brian Billick and quarterback Kyle Boller, who's
starting his first game since injuring his toe two months ago, that the second
half doesn't resemble the first half. That won't be an easy task, particularly
against a formidable Jacksonville team that has already toppled Cincinnati and
2. Score on defense. With an anemic offense generating only 12.1 points per game for the worst average in the league, it's time for gambling aggressiveness. Baltimore used to score regularly on defense, but has faltered in this category this season. The Ravens scored seven defensive touchdowns last season, but have none this year.
3. Increase accuracy in the red zone. One of the primary reasons why Baltimore ranks 30th in red-zone offense is all the errant throws deep in opponents' territory. Boller completed 65 percent of his passes in the season opener against the Colts, but didn't lead a scoring drive. For the season, the Ravens have scored on only 7 of 18 drives (31.8 percent) inside opponents' 20-yard line.
4. Stay alert. In last week's 21-9 loss to the Bengals, Cincinnati fumbled four times. However, the Ravens only recovered one. That didn't lead to points, though, as an inadvertent whistle negated safety Will Demps' touchdown. Naturally, the offense squandered the turnover.
5. Run the football effectively. Jamal Lewis has faltered this season, but has averaged 93.5 rushing yards against the Jaguars.
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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