The Baltimore Ravens were once again left shaking their heads after a 19-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, which dropped the team’s record to 3-3 on the season. With the loss, the Ravens’ playoff hopes were put into serious doubt, and the inevitable blame game has swung into full effect.
When looking at who to blame for the Ravens poor start in 2013, it is incredibly easy to see that the team’s defense is not at fault, which effectively throws the ball into the offense’s corner as the unit which has let the team down.
There has simply been too much pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco for him to play like a guy who can take over a game by himself. Through six games, Flacco has thrown an absurd 39.167 passes per game, or six more passes per game than he has thrown in any other season. The reason for this high number of passes has frankly came down to the inability of the Ravens to run the football, with Ray Rice specifically being the man who has let the team down.
In the past, Rice has been a rock for the Ravens, as he has rushed for 1000 yards or more in each of the previous four seasons. The 2013 season has been nothing even close to this though, as Rice has played he has averaged a measly 14.2 rushes per game in five games, and an even more embarrassing 39.4 yards per game.
Some people will surely point out that the Ravens’ offensive line has been sub par at best in 2013, and they would be making a good point. But, we have seen in the past that both Rice and numerous other running backs around the league have been able to find lanes and create yards seemingly out of nothing. An inability from Rice to do this in 2013 could be more indicative of a guy who is beginning to age, as his 5-foot-8, 212-pound. frame would not seem ideal to last long in the NFL.
Whether Rice is fully healthy or not though, it can not be doubted that his ineffectiveness is holding the Ravens back. On the back of his poor displays, the Ravens’ running backs have averaged only 72.67 yards per game. This has made life significantly more difficult for the Flacco to operate, as teams have been able to sit back and focus on stopping the pass game.
Continuing to place blame on the team’ss offensive line is a weak tactic at best, and it is time for people to finally begin pointing at Ray Rice as a main reason why the Ravens are going to have to fight their way into the playoffs in 2013.