Ravens' Offense Continues to be Offensive

There aren't enough adjectives in the English dictionary to describe last night's pitiful offensive performance by the Ravens. In last night's preseason finale against the Giants, the offense took a few steps backward, if that was at all possible.

Chris Redman misfired on a couple of key passes, most notably on a flea-flicker to Ron Johnson that should have been completed for a touchdown score. On the pass, Redman's inaccuracy in the deep passing game proved itself, when his pass showed better hang time than some of Tiger Woods' recent drive shots. On another sideline pass to Johnson, Redman's throw angled to the left, forcing Johnson to dive to the sideline to no avail. Redman also locked in on his primary read a number of times, making it obvious who he wanted to throw to.

 

But on the flea-flicker, Redman was not helped out by Johnson. Despite the fact that Johnson had to slow down to catch Redman's under thrown pass on the flea-flicker, he still snagged the ball in his hands. However, Johnson did a poor job of securing the ball before it hit his knee and inexplicably came out of his hands. The other rookie receiver, Javin Hunter, didn't complete his route on an out pattern in the second quarter, which resulted in an interception. And more importantly, the Ravens' entire receiving unit (that includes starters Brandon Stokley and Travis Taylor, who were both out with injuries last night) clearly lacks explosion.

 

Redman's backup, Jeff Blake, wasn't impressive either. While he showed nice elusiveness in the pocket when trying to escape the Giant's pass rush, he continued to display poor accuracy in the intermediate area of the field. He overthrew a number of passes last night.

 

The Ravens' first team offensive line continued to show inconsistency in both run blocking and pass blocking situations. Edwin Mulitalo held up fairly well at right tackle, but both Casey Rabach and Bennie Anderson struggled to open up holes in the running game. It's pretty clear that this line as a whole is just decent and decent will only get you so far.


Of course, the mediocre run blocking resulted in a mediocre running game. While starting tailback Jamal Lewis looked pretty solid, rushing for 20 yards on four carries, his backups, Chester Taylor and Tellis Redmon, looked pedestrian. While both backs have good bust going through the whole, neither one is a capable home run hitting threat.

 

The play calling was again suspect. On a third and two in the first half, the Ravens used a five-wide set to keep the chains moving. The problem was that the Giants anticipated the play by rushing just four linemen, and leaving virtually no one open. The play resulted in Redman locking in on his primary target and promptly getting the pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. Here is one adjective to describe that play: predictable.

 

And hey, it's bad enough to try and find a word to describe the Ravens' offense from last night. It's even harder to find the right adjective to describe the Ravens' offense for the entire preseason.

 

The first team offense went four games without a touchdown score. The second team offense was slightly better, but not by much, scoring just two touchdowns. In the same four games, the Ravens as a team have totaled just 41 points.

 

There are no doubts that before the Ravens embark on their first regular season game against the Carolina Panthers, they have to fix something, anything. They should have their opportunities to make plays, considering that the Panthers' starting corners are DeRon Jenkins (yes, that DeRon Jenkins) and Terry Cousin and their defensive line is suspect against the run. But you just can't tell how the Ravens' first team offense will play after watching last night's ugly performance.

 

But hey, it's only preseason, right?

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