Five Ravens stats that stand out ahead of the Tampa Bay game
By By Jon Meoli
The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 08, 2014 at 2:02 PM
"We're going to be a running team. There's no question about it, we can run the football, but we're also going to be a passing team," John Harbaugh said. "We're going to pass the football really well, too." (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Every Wednesday, I'll serve up five stats you should know heading into that week's Ravens game. This week's stats, pertaining to Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, focus on what the Ravens do well and what the Buccaneers don't — which is kind of a lot.
30 – The Buccaneers have the ignominy of ranking 30th in the league in total offense and total defense. The latter is dragged down by the Thursday night dismantling at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons a few weeks ago, but this is a team that's really struggling on both sides of the ball. The offense has been better under quarterback Mike Glennon, but with a team entering the game ranked this poorly, a Ravens loss would be one of the worst in recent memory.
26:05 – Tampa Bay's average time of possession is among the league's worst. A combination of turnover issues (11 in five games) and a struggling running game with Doug Martin and former Raven Bobby Rainey have meant short drives for the Buccaneers.
6.75 – Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco dipped again this week back into the bottom third o the league in yards per passing attempt, with 1,290 yards on 190 attempts (6.75). That number is one of the biggest indicators of offensive efficiency, and Flacco has been near the bottom of it since throwing the ball 62 times against the Bengals. Flacco will need to be more efficient downfield if he finds himself in the position to be passing as much as he was in Weeks 1 and 5, and this will be a good week to get back into the groove.
10 — Buccaneers inside linebacker Lavonte David leads the league with 10 tackles for loss and is fourth in the league with 52 total tackles. Given the commitment to the running game we're likely to see from the Ravens on Sunday, David and defensive lineman Gerald McCoy (five tackles for loss in barely over three games) will be imperative to stopping the Ravens from sustaining drives.
5.05 – Not including quarterback sneaks and a Jacoby Jones reverse, the Ravens are averaging over five yards per carry. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Justin Forsett, and Bernard Pierce have all been successful when they've played, but the Ravens almost have too much of a good thing here. All three will likely be running with the knowledge that a bad series could be their last, and they should be ready to feast on a Bucs run defense that could have some holes away from their stars up the middle.