One of the certainties from the Ravens' record-breaking offense in 2019 was that their possessions would be time-consuming, unrelenting and, more often than not, end in points.
While the Ravens still rank top 10 in points per game, averaging 29.8, touchdowns have become a bit harder to come by in 2020.
The Ravens are finishing possessions with a score on 44.8% of their drives, which ranks 14th in the NFL, and quarterback Lamar Jackson wants to improve on that over the team’s final 10 regular-season games after their bye week.
“We did a lot of great things, I’ll say, the past few weeks,” Jackson said on a video conference call Tuesday. “I’ll say what we didn’t do: Finish drives, scoring a lot of touchdowns.”
By most statistics and metrics, the Ravens offense has regressed from 2019, when it was rated the most efficient unit in the league by Football Outsiders and led the league in scoring (33.2 points per game).
In 2020, the team’s offensive possessions ended in a score on a league-high 52.1% of drives. Their third-down conversion rate has dropped from 47.1% in 2019 to 42.1% in 2020. And while their red zone efficiency has only declined from 67.2% in 2019 to 63.2% in 2020, this season’s rate ranks tied for 18th in the NFL.
Coach John Harbaugh on Monday said comparisons to 2019 are normal and the team is still a “work in progress,” but noted that last year’s team also faced questions around this time before rattling off 12 straight regular-season wins.
“Last year, we started the season off rolling,” Jackson said. "The first game, we put a lot of points on the board but after that, we slowed down and then we picked it back up, I’ll say, after our bye week. So, hopefully it’ll be similar to that from last year.”
>> When asked about communication issues between Jackson and wide receiver Miles Boykin, assistant head coach/passing game coordinator David Culley said many of the issues have stemmed from two-minute situations where Boykin misunderstood Jackson’s call in the huddle. “We’ve corrected that, Miles understands what has to happen and it’s our responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Culley said.
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>> Linebackers coach Mike Macdonald said inside linebacker Chris Board is on a “great trajectory” and “could probably be a Pro Bowl special-teams player this year with all the tackles he’s making.” (Board has five total special teams tackles this season, tied for fifth in the league).