Posted by Will Brinson
The Ravens looked downright dreadful on the offensive end of things on Monday in their 12-7 loss in Jacksonville. As such, the critics came calling, with many a pundit ripping Joe Flacco and even Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs questioning the playcalling after the game.
Suggs was baffled about the number of touches that Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice received. That number -- eight! -- apparently didn't sit well with head coach Jim Harbaugh, who said he's on the "same page" with Suggs re: touches.
"I listen to all of our guys and definitely I listen to Terrell Suggs, especially with the way he’s playing," Harbaugh said. "And then, the things he says are right. But, that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s not like we’re not trying to do the things he’s talking about doing. So, I think we’re all on the same page with that."
So that's not good news for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Although our own Mike Freeman reported Wednesday morning that Harbaugh isn't happy about the way Suggs criticized Cameron publicly, so perhaps it's Suggs that should be worried.
Indeed, BaltimoreRavens.com reported late Tuesday that Harbaugh and Cameron huddled up and discussed the offensive problems and determined that everyone's at fault.
"It’s warranted for all of us,” Harbaugh said. "I think we all deserve to have fingers pointed at us when the offense plays like that. That’s tough."
Oh, right, and add Flacco to the list of people that deseve blame, according to Cameron.
"That’s part of our deal," Cameron said. "Heat on me, heat on Joe. The coordinators, quarterbacks, we can all do better. It goes with the territory."
Flacco deserves criticism for making bad throws, of course. But it's not Flacco's fault that the offense is plodding through a late-game situation, or that Rice only got eight carries.
Now, there's an argument that the Ravens weren't moving the ball well on the ground -- Rice averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and Ricky Williams picked up just five yards on three carries.
But the problem with that argument is that 12 total carries for your running backs in a game that doesn't feature more than 19 points is simply illogical. 19 total points means that a game's either a defensive bloodbath or a sloppy offensive game. Either way, mistakes and the other team's opportunities can be mitigated by running the ball and looking to run it more effectively.
Cameron could have worn down the Jaguars defense and limited Flacco's mistakes if he'd simply given Rice the ball more, but for some reason, he didn't feel interested in doing so; when the score of a football game is 6-0 at halftime and still takes two hours to play, something has gone amiss in the respective offensive gameplans.
"Eight carries is never going to be a winning formula for Ray Rice," Harbaugh said. "There is no doubt about it."
Indeed it isn't, and Cameron should probably heed Harbaugh's words and perhaps take a look that the coach had on his face during Baltimore's next-to-last drive of the game. Cameron didn't go with a no-huddle offense initially, and melted nearly 1:30 off the clock with three plays that picked up a whopping 23 yards.
After finally letting Flacco put his foot on the peddle, the offense moved the final 60-plus yards in less than two minutes, scoring their first points of the game.
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