What can Ravens expect next week vs. Cincinnati?
Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is facing some hard truths. The Ravens have scored just one touchdown over their last eight quarters. They have only reached 30 points once all season, and in that game against the Texans, the Ravens had a pick six and a punt return for a touchdown.
Even if the Ravens’ offense finally breaks out Sunday in Cincinnati, it might be too late to get them into the playoffs. Caldwell knows some blame is being pointed in his direction, but he is working to solve problems, not trying to escape responsibility.
“A number of things we can do better, there’s no question about that, and that certainly starts with me,” Caldwell said. “I got to do a better job helping these guys.”
Caldwell is the same coach whose play calling was being lauded during last season’s Super Bowl run. Things change quickly in the NFL. This season, the Ravens have struggled to run the ball all season, which has made play calling more challenging, and even the return of tight end Dennis Pitta has not. Caldwell admitted Thursday that the Ravens need to run the ball more effectively in the red zone to end more drives with touchdowns, rather than field goals.
“We have to be able to get some yardage on the ground,” Caldwell said. “Teams are kind of dropping a number of guys into coverage. When you do that down in the red zone, it makes windows a lot tighter, makes it a lot more difficult to throw the ball.”
This has not been an easy season for Caldwell, or for the Ravens’ offense. However, winning on Sunday and making the playoffs would make Caldwell feel better.