The Baltimore Ravens may have won Sunday’s game against the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals but there is a lingering issue in the room that wasn’t addressed. Where is the run game? What is going on with the two premier backs from last year?
The blame has constantly been blamed on the zone-blocking scheme but the runners themselves need their feet held to the fire. I have defended Ray Rice and blamed Juan Castillo and Gino Gradkowski constantly for the scheme and not knowing the zone assignment; however, this lack of run game also falls on Ray Rice. No big surprise there right? Bernard Pierce’s performance is evidence enough; Rice is not hitting the right hole. Pierce led the team with only eight carries for 31-yards while Rice tanked with 18 for 30-yards. When one back is finding the running lane better than the other you give that man the rock.
The message is clear. Pierce should take over as lead back. I’m not basing this off of what I can’t see, like Rice’s injuries; I am judging solely on performance. What annoys me is John Harbaugh can clearly see his run game is ranked 30th in the league and yet nothing has been addressed. No one has been fired. We have heard Harbaugh, at furthest, call the offensive line disappointing when referencing the run-game according to BaltimoreRavens.com. Yet everyone is still collecting a paycheck and Rice is still the lead back.
Baltimore is facing a very tough Chicago Bears’ 4-3 Defense coming up this week and they really know how to hurt. They must make them respect the run or they will be 4-6. If Harbaugh doesn’t shake things up with this ground game, we are going to see Joe Flacco eating a great deal of turf. They must make them respect the run or they will be 4-6.