Blog Entry

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:56 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

In Week 10, Baltimore inexplicably lost to Seattle 22-17. Even more inexplicable than the actual loss, though, was that Ravens running back Ray Rice only got five carries against the Seahawks.

As we noted in Sorting the Sunday Pile, there's a common thread to the Ravens three losses: Rice doesn't get carries. In the Ravens six wins, Rice averaged 18.67 carries (including just nine carries against the Rams in a blowout). In the three losses to the Titans, Jaguars and Seahawks? Rice totaled 26 carries. John Harbaugh does not see this as a common thread, however.

Recapping Week 10

"The comparisons that people want to draw between the three games, that's all hypothetical, theoretical stuff," Harbaugh said, per the Baltimore Sun. "When you know football, you understand the schemes that you see and the situations that you face are different in every single game.

"I'm not a psychologist. I think what you do is you look at football. We're moving forward. We took responsibility for the loss and we're moving forward."

This would be a perfectly fine explanation, except there is a common thread. When the Ravens lose, Ray Rice averages 10 carries less than when the Ravens win. This isn't cherry-picking statistics. It's just clear that Baltimore abandoned the run way too early.

"I don't know how you would do it any differently," Harbaugh said. "We were in a situation where we lost two possessions [on turnovers]. When you don't have very many plays, it's hard to build up your running game. The way the game went, we had to throw it.

"In that game, I didn't see a lot more opportunities to run the ball."

The turnover point is valid, because losing two possessions is crippling for an offensive attack. But it's not like the Ravens were getting blown out at any point in the game. Their biggest deficit was 15 points, after a Steven Hauschka field goal made it 22-7 with 12:26 left in the third quarter.

And Joe Flacco still attempted a whopping 53 passes on Sunday, which was probably 10 too many. He wasn't helped by the fact that his receivers didn't show up, but he's still averaging the third-most pass attempts per game in the NFL (40.1) behind only Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford.

The problem is Flacco's only converting 54.8 percent of them. Although he might be hitting a higher percentage of them if defenses even bothered to concern themselves with stopping the run.

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Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:25 am

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

I have lost all respect for this Harbaugh with his sad lie."When you know football," what a crock.

Anyone can see what his brother is doing with the Niners, run the d*mn ball and keep the stress off your QB.

That is how the Ravens won a Super Bowl.

I understand he wanted to cover his OC but saying something that stupid is not the way. At what point is the draw play not an option? Heck, 50 passes a game is overkill for Mike Martz!

What was it he saw? Seattle "looked" like they could stop the run so the Ravens didn't even try? Is this not the same Seattle team Dallas rushed for 163 yards against the week before?

In a game that was 10 -zip after 1st quarter, how does Rice not get 10 carries by halftime?

Maybe John Harbaugh needs to see a psychologist.

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:10 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 3, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:02 pm

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

I thought he meant "THROW THE GAME", as in forfeit, quit, purposely lose.

Which is exactly what they did.

Since: Jul 29, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:21 am

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

With Flacco at quarterback, you are NEVER in a situation where you have to throw it.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 8:31 am

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

Ray Rice is one of the most versatile RB's in football. He runs the ball 5 times and catches a few passes. That is not going to win a game. Joe Flacco is not a good throwing QB. He either is going to over throw or under throw his receivers several times during a game. I know some receivers dropped some passes but Joe has to be consistant in throwing to his receivers. The Ravens had no running game against Seattle and that hurt them really bad. Their best running plays were by WRs the first 2 plays of the game. The Ravens have to start using the weapons that will win games. That starts with Ray Rice running the ball and Anquan Boldin catching the ball. Then they can start using the others to mix things up. Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are getting better each week and they look like they can be reliable. Once Lee Evans can play then he will be the WR who can stretch the field and Torrie Smith can be the 3rd WR so he can learn from watching Evans and Boldin.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:50 am

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

I'm not a Ravens fan, but I have always respected Harbaugh.  I can't believe he used the 'I know football and you guys don't' response to defend what appears to be a poor job of play calling progression in Ravens losses.  Baltimore should be at least two games up in the division right now( this is a Steelers fan saying this).  The  Ravens play Cincy this week and I think even us 'non-football guys' can figure out Baltimore probably wont win if Flacco is flinging the pigskin 50 plus times.  I guess after spending too much time around Andy Reid its hard not to have some of that stuff rub off on you.  If Harbaugh starts to say he needs to do a better job, be afraid, be VERY afraid.

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:56 am

Harbaugh on Seahawks game: 'We had to throw it'

Lets see, if I'm a defensive coordinator and I see you passing the ball 10 times for every one rushing attempt, I think I can easily stop your offensive attack. You have an amazing running back in Ray Rice...USE HIM!!!!

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