Ravens confident they can improve season after bye
Will things get better or worse for the Ravens after the bye?
An argument can be made either way. Here are some of the issues.
Three reasons why the Ravens’ season could get better:
1. The chemistry between Joe Flacco and his receivers is growing. Over his last two games, Flacco has completed 44 of 68 passes for 557 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The return of Jacoby Jones has helped, and Flacco seems more in sync with his receivers. The final touchdown drive against the Steelers was vintage Flacco – pinpoint throws in a clutch situation. If Flacco plays his best football in the second half of the season, the Ravens should as well.
2. Eugene Monroe is an upgrade at left tackle. With Monroe protecting Flacco’s blindside, sacks against the Ravens should decrease in the second half of the season. Trading for Monroe to play left tackle earlier this month is a move that should pay dividends. 3.
3. Four of the Ravens’ next six games are at home.
If they can’t make a run during the next six weeks, they can’t blame the schedule maker.
Three reasons why things could get worse:
1. The Ravens’ running game may not get any better.
Left guard Kelechi Osemele is playing with a bad back. Center Gino Gradkowski has struggled at times in his first season as a starting center. Monroe can’t fix all of the Ravens’ offensive line woes. If there are few holes for Ray Rice, few yards will be gained, and the offense will likely remain inconsistent.
2. The margin for error is slim.
At 3-4, the Ravens need to win seven of their last nine just to go 10-6. The Ravens simply can’t afford many more losses. That’s why linebacker Terrell Suggs said the team is in a state of emergency.
3. The red zone offense has not been up to snuff.
The Ravens entered Sunday ranking 21st among the NFL’s 32 teams in scoring, averaging 21.4 points. They have not finished enough drives with touchdowns, partly. If that does not change, the Ravens are unlikely to barge their way into the playoffs.