The Baltimore Ravens have struggled mightily to score in the first quarter this season. In fact, outside of Week 1 the offense has only put up three first quarter points. No wonder they rank 18th in the league in points per game (22.3). If the Ravens want to have a good shot at defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7, it is imperative that they score early.
“We need to start faster,” head coach John Harbaugh said, according to BaltimoreRavens.com. “We’d love to start with the lead and try to build on that. We haven’t done that as often as we need to.”
The offense certainly has the fire power to get the job done. Unfortunately, they have failed to execute properly over the past few weeks. The inability to get Ray Rice involved in the run and pass game has certainly taken its toll on the team.
Many people might be wondering why it is so important for Baltimore to get off to a fast start against a Pittsburgh team that averages a dismal 17.6 points per contest. For one, the Steelers are coming off their first win of the season, which means they have the momentum and the belief they can defeat the Ravens. Secondly, Baltimore needs to build some momentum of their own so that they can get into a rhythm of scoring on their first few possessions of the game.
One way to fix this issue is to be more efficient on third down. It is no secret that moving the chains has come as a bit of a struggle for Baltimore this season, which directly affects their ability to score. The fact that the team has only converted 35 percent of their third downs this season certainly explains a lot. Not to mention, their 35.6 percent conversion on first-down plays is enough to drive a coaching staff crazy.
Sunday will be a great opportunity for the Ravens to improve their efficiency in several areas on offense.