Between the Hashes- No-Huddle? No Brainer
The Ravens finally went to a no-huddle offense last Sunday vs. the Cardinals, something that suits Joe Flacco right now with the offensive line still struggling to find its way. The Ravens erased a 24-6 halftime lead by the Cardinals, en route to a 30-27 victory. A showdown in Pittsburgh on Sunday night looms.
Until Lee Evans is healthy, and the offensive line gets settled, this should be the blueprint for the Ravens, offensively. Flacco is better out of the shotgun, and taking the occasional chance at a deep ball with Torrey Smith can have defenses off-balance, especially a Steelers defense that will be without LaMarr Woodley and possibly James Harrison. This takes pressure off the offensive line and allows the game to come easy to Flacco.
This isn’t something to make permanent, but for now it’s working and giving the offense the proverbial shot in the arm it desperately needs. It seems the less Flacco has to think about and instead just make throws, the better he is, no matter the competition. No-huddle gives him an opportunity to make completions to tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta.
Granted other factors need to be taken into consideration, such as better line play, adjustments to the game plan by coordinator, Cam Cameron and the receivers getting separation on defenders.
If you recall in Week 1, a healthy Lee Evans was mainly a decoy using his speed as a deep threat, but that allowed Anquan Boldin to gain separation on defenders grabbing four catches for 74 yards and a TD.
Evans didn’t catch a pass but stretching the field opened everything else up for other receivers. The Ravens will hope to get that going again Sunday night.
Of course, the offense isn’t complete unless Ray Rice touches the ball. Rice rushed 18 times and caught another seven passes, totaling 99 yards of offense, not to mention his three rushing touchdowns against the Cardinals. Besides the no-huddle offense, Ray Rice is the key to victory Sunday night in Pittsburgh.
In a game that could go either way, of course it will come down to who takes better care of the football. Something the Ravens haven’t done well in 2 of the last 3 games against the Steelers (including playoffs). If Opening Day was any indication, should the Ravens get the lead, they will try to step on the throats of the Steelers and not let them get back up.
The Ravens in their brief history are 5-13 in Pittsburgh (including playoffs) and 13-18 overall against the Steelers.