Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco talks about playing with an ever-changing offensive line and what it is like to play with Steve Smith Sr. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens' 22-point outburst in the second half of a 28-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns showed the offense's capabilities when everything clicks. Replicating that success against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday is clearly a top priority, but the offense is not assuming a similar output.
"You can't expect because you played a good half of football to come out and do the same thing the next game," quarterback Joe Flacco said Wednesday. "You have to translate it. You have to find a way to make that stuff continue to work and continue to get better at the stuff that made us go off there a little bit in the second half. We can't expect it to just happen. We have to continue to come out here and work at it."
The 28 points against Cleveland were a season high and the most since Nov. 30, 2015, when that squad defeated the Browns, 33-27 – a span of 14 games. The Ravens' 22-point half was its biggest output since Oct. 12, 2014, when they scored 38 in the first half of an eventual 48-17 stomping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sustaining the momentum from Thursday's win against the Browns might be a difficult task for the Ravens' 25th-ranked offense.
"You just have to play well the next week though," coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a different game. It's a different front. It's a different bunch of players. It's a different game plan. We just have to carry over execution. The thing that can carry over momentum-wise is doing things the right way [and] well."
Unlike Cleveland's No. 31 defense, Dallas boasts a No. 12 ranking that is the second-highest that the Ravens will have faced this season, trailing only the Jacksonville Jaguars' No. 8 unit. The Cowboys have been especially stout against the run, ranking third in the NFL in that department.
Flacco noted that the offense can help itself by taking advantage of red-zone opportunities like it did when it scored two touchdowns on four trips against Cleveland and getting the ball to playmaking wide receivers such as Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman. For his part, Smith expressed confidence that the team can prolong its run of success to Sunday's contest against Dallas.