Baltimore Ravens

With new direction, Ravens make gains downfield in passing game

East Rutherford, N.J. — Entering Sunday's game against the New York Giants, one of the bigger questions facing the Ravens was whether new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg would revive a lethargic offense.

The unit showed at least a brief glimmer of what it can do. The Ravens had four plays of at least 20 yards in their 27-23 loss after entering the game with just 11 in the first five games under Marc Trestman. They also doubled their previous total of two plays of at least 40 yards.


Three of those big gains came through the air. Quarterback Joe Flacco's 70-yard bomb to wide receiver Mike Wallace was the Ravens' longest of the season.

Flacco also found wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a 41-yard catch that led to a 23-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to open the game, and wide receiver Kamar Aiken had a 22-yard catch on the fourth-quarter drive that ended with running back Terrance West's second touchdown.


Even when some of Flacco's downfield passes fell incomplete, the offense made gains. Giants cornerback Trevin Wade was flagged for a 42-yard pass-interference penalty on Wallace, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had a 30-yard pass-interference against Perriman.

"It was a great job," said Wallace, who finished with four catches for 97 yards. "We had two completions — [the] Kamar one was a big fourth down. I got a penalty, Breshad got a penalty. That's four big plays on vertical passes. We have guys that can connect on those as well. That's the type of team we have. We have those types of guys."

Before Trestman's firing Monday, he had been criticized for his conservative play-calling. Mornhinweg is known as a West Coast disciple, with an emphasis on a short-passing game, but is willing to take shots downfield.

The difference was noticeable to Perriman.

"There were more shot plays and new plays in general," he said. "It didn't feel that different because it's still football. But I felt like we were better."