5 numbers that must improve for Ravens

5 numbers that must improve for Ravens
September 18, 2013, 11:00 am
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Ravens fans are rightfully feeling a little unsettled these days after the Ravens were essentially thrown out of Denver by Peyton Manning, and then came home to record a less-than-beautiful, 14-6 win over Cleveland in the home opener.

The optimists will point out that the Ravens are 1-1, which is exactly what many figured they would be after two weeks, and exactly what they were at this time last year. They will note that despite the uneven start, the Ravens are tied for first in the AFC North.

But if they want to stay there, here are five numbers that must improve:

.500 -- Justin Tucker's field-goal percentage. After making 30 of 33 field-goal attempts last season, Tucker missed two against Cleveland, the first time in his short career he has missed two in one game. "I'm really not worried," Tucker said.

0 - Interceptions by the Ravens. The Ravens have had their chances -- Daryl Smith had one bounce out of his hands last week -- but they are one of only five teams without a pick through the first two games. With the offense still getting its legs, the defense needs to create some opportunities.

1 -- Total catches for starting tight end Ed Dickson. It has been a rough couple of weeks for Dickson, who dropped several passes, was called for a holding penalty and has not come close to succeeding Dennis Pitta as a receiver. Last season, Dickson said missing training camp with a shoulder injury hurt his chemistry with Flacco. This season, he missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring injury, and he and Flacco definitely are not on the same page.

2.8 -- The Ravens' average yardage per carry. Ray Rice (25-72) has averaged 2.9 yards a carry, and Bernard Pierce (28-79) has averaged 2.8. Last season, the Ravens averaged 4.3 yards a run, 12th-best in the league.

6 -- Dropped passes by Ravens receivers, according to stats website Pro Football Focus. Other stats services put the number higher. Regardless, the bottom line is Ravens receivers aren't catching the ball often enough, and it's derailing the offense.