Ravens hope Rice returns, and offense starts fast

Ravens hope Rice returns, and offense starts fast
September 26, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Ravens' offense needs Ray Rice back

(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

The Ravens hope to break their recent pattern of slow starts offensively.

In each of their last two games, the Ravens have failed to score an offensive touchdown before halftime. That’s not acceptable to offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who was glad to see Ray Rice on the practice field Thursday. Rice (hip) hopes to play Sunday, after missing the Texans game.

“Anytime you have Ray on the field for you, he’s a game-breaker,” said Caldwell. “Not only in terms of being able to run the ball, which we all know and understand, but also even in the passing game. He’s like lightning in a bottle. Having him certainly helps us open some things up. You have to be concerned about him.”

However, with or without Rice, the Ravens have been dealing with sluggish starts. Falling behind early is something the Ravens want to avoid Sunday against the Bills (1-2). If the Ravens start quickly, perhaps the underdog Bills will begin to press. However, another poor first half by the Ravens would increase the odds of a Bills upset.

“We need to get off to a better start,” Caldwell said. “You go into the game with a plan. You look at what you like to do against them, and you go after them. It changes when that whistle blows, but you have to stick with your plan early on and adjust.” However, the Ravens would like to see their offense find the end zone Sunday at least before halftime.