The Baltimore Ravens came away with a 13-10 hard fought, hard nose rivalry victory Sunday Night over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road and took a two game lead in the AFC North. Baltimore's defense played, by all standards, its best game of the season, but the offense was abysmal as their struggles on the road continue.
It is no secret that team's offenses struggle on the road in the NFL, it is just the way it is, but the Ravens are not struggling, they look terrible and lost. Let's dive into some specifics from Sunday's game and the season as a whole for the Ravens offense on the road.
Sunday Night at Pittsburg:
- The offense did not score a touchdown, did not have a drive that went for more than 48 yards and only gained 200 total yards!
- The offensive line pass blocked pretty well, but got absolutely no push when Baltimore ran the football. Ray Rice got his carries with 20, but could only muster 40 yards on those carries and was constantly getting hit behind the line of scrimmage.
- Despite throwing it 32 times, Joe Flacco only garnered 164 passing yards. Flacco also just seemed to have no idea what Pittsburgh's defense was doing as he threw into double coverage numerous times and had guys open on certain plays that Flacco never saw.
- Baltimore's defense gave the offense the football on Pittsburgh's 12 yard line after a turnover, the offense gained four yards and had to kick a field goal, that is a situation that the offense needs to put seven points on the board.
All season on the road:
- Anquan Boldin has been the only consistent performer for the Ravens offense on the road, not a good sign when it is not your quarterback or running back.
- Five of the eight turnovers committed by Flacco this season have come on the road and only three of his 13 touchdown passes have come away from M&T Bank Stadium.
- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron seems to forget how to call a game on the road, perfect example came this past Sunday with a third and two, and the Steelers were out of timeouts with less than two minutes to go in the game and a three point lead, Cameron called a PASS PLAY, luckily for Baltimore Flacco got sacked so the clock kept running, but if he would have thrown an incomplete pass and the clock stopped? We may not be celebrating a victory right now and Cameron may have been fired on the spot.
Baltimore's defense played absolutely outstanding on Sunday Night Football, and held the Steelers at bay. OK so Byron Leftwich was at quarterback instead of Ben Roethlisberger, but the Ravens held the potent Steelers running game to 134 rushing yards, of which 31 of them came on Leftwich's touchdown scramble on Pittsburgh's first drive. After that touchdown, Baltimore only gave up three more points the rest of the game and sacked Leftwich three times and forced three turnovers. Ever since Terrell Suggs came back, although Suggs himself hasn't put up great numbers, his presence has been obvious as Paul Kruger has become a household name in Baltimore since. Kruger has compiled three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in four games since Suggs returned, including one sack and a forced fumble against the Steelers.
The Ravens offense has to figure out how to translate their spectacular home offense to the road if this team wants to contend for a Super Bowl, but Baltimore has to be encouraged with how their defense has been improving every week and is giving their offense short fields to work with. Baltimore hits the road again this week to take on the San Diego Chargers, so Ravens fans will get to see if the offense can put it together away from home.
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