Maybe this year will be the first since 1999 where the Ravens don't have to break out their usual formula of success. The Ravens like to pride themselves on having a strong running game and dominating defense, but basically they've been forced into being a running team. I have no problems with a strong running game and actually prefer it, but the Ravens resort to it because they can't ever develop a strong passing game. Going back to the days of former Ravens coach Brian Billick and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, the Ravens have always had excuses for not developing a strong passing game. They didn't have the right quarterback, they didn't have good receivers or a good enough offensive line. Once the passing game failed, they always resorted to the running game, which became a staple. Maybe one year -- just one year -- they can develop a good, strong passing game to complement the running game and strong defense. The excuses are getting old.
Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron