For Ravens, it's third-and-too-long

For Ravens, it's third-and-too-long
October 13, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Ravens struggle to establish running game vs. Packers

The Ravens faced third down on offense 16 times in Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Packers. Only five times was their distance for a first down less than 10 yards. Only once — the failed run by Ray Rice from the Green Bay 1-yard line in the second quarter — did the Ravens face shorter than 5 yards.

In those 16 tries, the Ravens converted three times — on long pass plays to Jacoby Jones and Dallas Clark and on a defensive holding call against the Packers. Three times, Joe Flacco was sacked on third down.

That gives you a pretty good picture of how the Ravens couldn’t generate much offense for most of the game.

With their running game again bottled up — forget about any signs of hope from the second half last week against the Dolphins — the Ravens constantly placed themselves in obvious passing situations. That will make any defense’s job much easier. The pass rushers are turned loose. On third-and-long, the defensive backs need only keep the receivers in front of them. Why even bother with play-action? There surely hasn’t been much action on runs for the defense to worry about.

Considering those long odds they continuously faced on third down, it’s remarkable that Flacco totaled 342 yards passing. Maybe the Ravens need to go into Canadian football mode — figuring they have just two downs to make 10 yards.