If the Baltimore Ravens wanted any chance at going to the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, this past Sunday was a must win. Baltimore persevered and came out on top with a 19-3 victory and exhibited some new wrinkles and versatility on the offensive side of the ball.
The Ravens offense has been mediocre at best this season and largely due to the fact that the offensive line has struggled, and quarterback Joe Flacco has very few weapons in the passing game right now, but isn't that what creativity is for?
Creativity was exactly what we saw from the Ravens offense Sunday against the Jets.
The object of most of that creativity? Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. If you have watched him during the preseason, or his times when he gets into a game, or even back at Virginia Tech, you know he has a very dynamic set of skills and the Ravens wanted to find a way to use them.
“It felt good to get out there to try to make a couple plays, spark the offense a little bit and throw the defense off,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t perfect, but there were some positives in there.”
We saw Taylor lineup in the wildcat formation, split out wide, and as a normal quarterback with Flacco split out wide and all of this is just Sunday's victory.
Was Taylor versatile?
In a word….YES! Taylor attempted a pass, ran the ball four times, including one for 17 yards, and also caught a pass for a six yard gain. It was easily apparent that the Jets were not prepared for it at all as confusion was visible to the naked eye.
Taylor does have the potential to break a play open with his quickness, agility, ability to avoid tacklers, and let's not forget that he can throw the ball pretty darn well to boot, but we do have a small concern with Taylor's increased role on the offense. When both he and Flacco are on the field at the same time, one looming worry that any coach, fan, or player would have is that both of them get hurt on the same play. Why is that a huge issue? Baltimore only carries two quarterbacks on their active roster, thus if something were to happen to both guys on one play, who knows who would be taking the snaps.
Obviously the odds of that happening are very slim, but it still bodes mentioning. Bottom line is that the Ravens and Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell are trying to find ways to get this offense moving and at least for one game it worked somewhat. We have no issue with Taylor seeing the field more as he is a valuable weapon for Baltimore and he showed that he can do some damage when in open space. The question is, will Baltimore continue using Taylor more and how will teams react now that they have time to prepare for it?
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