The Baltimore Ravens had a substandard performance yesterday that ended up with them walking out of Hines’ Field with their heads hung low in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-19. Now comes the time to point fingers, or in this case one finger. John Harbaugh is to blame for this loss: his offensive game plan for the Steelers was completely flawed.
The Steelers pride themselves on being a team that focuses on stopping the run first; years of being tops in the league against the run speak clearly to this. Put the records aside Harbaugh and take a look at the Steelers’ defensive side of the ball. Sure, players have changed, but nothing has changed coaching-wise.
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau has made it very clear that he attacks what he sees. What the Ravens presented to Lebeau Sunday as an offense was absolute insipid trash.
Coming into the game, Baltimore knew that they needed to work on their run, but they also knew that they were beginning to excel at the pass. It just makes sense to prepare for a team based on your strengths. Instead, Baltimore decided to bring an I-formation to the table and run on first and second down about 70 percent of the day.
They were not very successful on the ground on first and second down, which made the third-down passing attempts very difficult. My problem was not that Harbaugh continued to run, but when he chose to run. The offense clearly showed when they were in four-receiver sets they had an advantage and were able to move the ball.
Even though Jim Caldwell is the offensive coordinator, Harbaugh pulls his strings and is clearly to blame for the lackluster game plan. Caldwell was able to be very aggressive last year upon his designation as offensive coordinator. Ravens Nation wants to see that same intensity this season and Harbaugh need to allow him to do bring. Hopefully going into the bye, the Ravens will use this loss as a wake-up call to motivate them to develop a better game plan.