Over the past few days, we have been bringing you our Ravens101 suggested To Do list for the Baltimore Ravens as they head into their bye week. This team has a lot of areas it can improve on for the final nine games of the season, but we have narrowed it down to four major ones and coming in at number one is the Ravens offensive line.
Before you get emotional, we realize that the offensive line ties into the running game which came in at number two on our list, but it is the overall performance of the offensive line that garners the distinction of the number one ‘to do’ for Baltimore during their bye week.
Coming into this season, the offensive line was not expected to be a weakness, but a strength even as they had four starters returning from their 2012 playoff winning offensive line with the lone newcomer being Gino Gradkowski, who took over for the retired Matt Birk. The downside of expectations is that sometimes they do not come to fruition and the Ravens offensive line has been abysmal thus far.
Gradkowski, being the newcomer is the easy scape goat for blame, and yes he has played poorly, but the entire line has as well. Marshal Yanda is not playing like the Pro Bowler that he is, Kelechi Osemele is dealing with a back issue that has severely limited his power, while Bryant McKinnie was performing poorly enough that Baltimore traded for Eugene Monroe and shipped McKinnie to Miami weeks later.
In the running game, which we touched on yesterday, the Ravens are averaging just 74 rushing yards per game, which is the fifth lowest in the NFL, and their 2.8 yards per carry is dead last.
Well are they pass blocking well? Not exactly; Joe Flacco is getting hit a lot in the pocket, and the offensive line is averaging 2.9 sacks allowed per game, which ties them for the 10th most per game in the NFL.
It is no secret that offensive success for any team involves several parts, but think of the offensive line as the ignition of the offensive engine. Without the offensive line doing their part, the entire offense is not going to work and Baltimore knows it.
This offensive line can still perform at a high level, but they need to improve their communication, find a way to get healthy, and simply look at themselves in the mirror and be honest with themselves if they are doing everything they can to make this a playoff team for the sixth consecutive season.
Ravens Bye Week To Do List:
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