By Mike Preston
The Baltimore Sun
5:45 PM EST, November 26, 2013
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco thinks the wildcat is a high school offense and he is right. But the Ravens would not have to run the wildcat if he didn’t have as many interceptions (14) as touchdown passes.
And the Ravens wouldn’t have to run the wildcat if running back Ray Rice averaged more than 2.9 yards a carry and the Ravens averaged more than 20.6 points per game, ranked No. 25 in the NFL. And the Ravens wouldn’t have to resort to other forms of trickery like the flea-flicker if they averaged more than 81.7 rushing yards and 308.8 total yards per game.
He really does think this is about him. If Flacco had his way, the Ravens would throw 40 to 50 times per game and stay in three or four wide receiver sets. But this isn’t about him or his ego. It’s about winning.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave this offense 10 games to find an identity and they couldn’t. So, in a must win situation, the staff resorted to the wildcat offense to help win a game.
Good for them. Isn’t that what this is all about? I don’t care if the Ravens have to run the Delaware Wing T or the Wishbone, just win the darn game.
Going to the wildcat wasn’t a slap in the face of Flacco, but an indictment of the entire offense, especially the line. The wildcat offense didn’t register big numbers or big plays Sunday against the Jets, but it helped win the game. The Ravens got two or three first downs out of the package and that resulted in three, four or five more minutes in time of possession.
It doesn’t sound like much, but let’s flash back to a couple of games when the defense played well and the offense stunk up the joint. Then in the fourth quarter, an exhausted defense couldn’t make a stop in crunch time and the Ravens lost.
Ask some of those defensive players if several more minutes of rest helps.
A lot of people don’t think about that. I bet you Flacco didn’t. Apparently, he didn’t look at the Ravens possession chart from Sunday’s game when the Ravens started inside New York territory four times and those ended with an interception, field goal, punt and punt. I understand Flacco wanting to be behind center every snap. I understand him wanting to be the centerpiece of the offense. Any great competitor feels that way.
But this is about team and victories. If Flacco wants the Ravens to stay out of the wildcat, play better. If he wants more snaps, then get the offense to gain more yards and score more touchdowns, not just field goals.
Until then, pipe down No. 5.
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