I attribute the success of the Raven's current record to the collective efforts of the organization, from top to bottom - there is NO better organization in all of the NFL than the Ravens, imho!!! Think of it, this team is headed to the playoffs for the FIFTH year in a row...pretty impressive. We as a fanbase are pretty damn lucky!
Great Thread. Some key stats have already been mentioned. Red Zone efficiency from both sides of the ball, points allowed and points scored, much better turnover margin, Flacco as a constant. One thing I would add is special teams. Much improved this year. The decison to go with an unproven rookie (Tucker) took balls and the addition of Jacoby has added an explosiveness in our return game, something we've not seen since Jermaine Lewis.
Got to give credit where due. Cam is the reason we are 8-2. Without him we'd be . . . 9-1.
There a lot of reasons we have had success. If I were to think of one player contributing the most to it - without a doubt it's Flacco.
At home: the offensive line playing well enough to give the receivers and backs a decent chance to properly execute the otherwise inflexible yet predictable gameplan/playcalling.
On the road: tenacity, perseverance, dogged determination and sheer force of will mixed with just enough luck to overcome the shortcomings and failings of the aforementioned inflexible yet predictable gameplan/playcalling.
Flacco has been solid this year, but let's not forget people all across the board making plays when they were needed. Torrey Smith having the game of his life after his brother passes away. Anquan Boldin fighting for every catch. Say what you want about Carey Wiliams but he has 4 interceptions this year. Ellerbe stepping up in that LB role and having 11 tackles against the Steelers.
Stats mean jack. Houston fans right now I'm sure aren't tearing their team apart because they got taken to overtime by Jacksonville. I'm sure they aren't saying "OMG we should have lost and we'll be 9-7 the rest of the way." because they haven't blown every team out or lost to the Packers. They are relishing in their 9-1 record.
We are a lot like the past 4-5 SB winners. IOW...we are winning despite injuries, certain inconsistencies, and certain statistical and/or performance declines.
This wknd represents one of the last opportunities we'll have all season (including our likely playoff scenario of hosting at least 1 game) to prove that we can resolve our road inconsistencies.
We have the talent and veteran poise to beat anyone...but location is going to matter until we prove that it doesn't anymore.
It's a little luck, an incredible home field advantage and a roster that contains multiple guys with big play ability. The difference between the Ravens and the Steelers on Sunday was a couple of big plays from the Ravens. The only problem with playing that way is that its tough to count on game in and game out, especially against teams you see in the playoffs
I have a dream that one day my children will see offenses and defenses ranked by points and not by yards.
Well, they play a clean game. When they get in the red zone, they make it count. When they allow others into the red zone, they hold them to FGs. Their special teams units is clean for the most part, with the exception of a penalty here and there. The team, as a whole, is only concerned with the W. As another poster said, that is a new vibe that you get about this team. Not one person blaming another or one side blaming another. Just getting the W.
Now, there is no question in my mind that if I had to choose one player who was most responsible for the success, it would be Joe Flacco.
Like another poster said, some just don't want to admit it.
We've had number 1 ranked defenses, top ranked rush offenses, a 2000 yard rusher, and still weren't winning consistently until Flacco arrived. Then, people still tried to say that it was due to the defense and the rush offense. Yet, Ray Rice's playoff numbers aren't that good and Flacco was the one that made the throw that would have put them in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl people (Not trying to diss Ray Rice).
This year, the defense went to pieces, Rice wasn't getting as many touches as he used to and it's even been tough sledding for him lately with the offensive line struggles.
The constant is Joe Flacco.
in years past the Ravens have risen up to the talent of the opponent, thats a big reason they are so consistent
but they also play down to the level of their opponent...they need to find some consistency on the road
I attribute the Ravens success based mainly on the players winning the physical 1 on 1 battles on both sides of the ball...whether it is sheer speed or toughness or strength.
Our receivers cannot get separation based on the play design by making one move and that's it.
So to make a play they have to outmuscle to make the catch, simply run faster to gain a small separation and Joe making a perfect pass.
Many of Pitta's catches he has a defender drapped over him and Joe threads the ball where he can make the catch.
Torrey streaking down the field and simply outruns the defender and the pass is right there.
Boldin and Rice making short comeback routes, and then trying to make a circle move to break free enough to make a first down.
Jones has to fly down the field and jump as high as he can to grab the ball out of the air.
Many of our running plays are simply stretch plays to either side and the ball carrier looking for a crack to slip through. The quick hitters between the tackles with Leach leading so that Rice bounces through the hole and runs for daylight...that's brute force and some quickness to get through and then run as fast as possible.
Defensively, the differences in coaching from year to year with basically the same type of talent in my opinion dictates the ranking of bending but not breaking or attacking the line of scrimmage.
Talent of the players has won many a game here, but to go deep and win a trophy requires coaching to place the talent in the best situations to succeed. Not force the players into a system not suited best for them.