This marks the first major unveiling of an offense overhauled by new coordinator Gary Kubiak. The Ravens' version of the West Coast offense is expected to rely heavily on running the football, play-action passes, bootlegs, waggles and getting multiple players involved, including wide receivers Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, tight end Dennis Pitta and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The Ravens will need quarterback Joe Flacco to do a good job of distributing the football to keep a strong Bengals defense off balance. The Bengals create plenty of pressure through their front seven, particularly with defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Wallace Gilberry and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Sacked 48 times a year ago when he threw a career-high and franchise-record 22 interceptions, Flacco needs more time to deliver crisp spirals and execute the timed passes featured in Kubiak's offense. With left guard Kelechi Osemele healthy again after undergoing back surgery last November, an upgraded center situation with the trade for Jeremy Zuttah and right guard Marshal Yanda more than a year removed from shoulder surgery, the lone remaining question mark on the offensive line is new right tackle Rick Wagner. Wagner looked solid during the preseason, though. The Ravens are expected to try to get their best skill players downfield in space to allow them to run after the catch, but Kubiak is known for remaining patient with the running game.
Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun