Not after the Ravens have struggled on the road this season, not after a cry from outsiders to slow down to offset crowd noise and not after having a bye to think about one of his career-worst performances in Houston.
Flacco said the Ravens could huddle earlier in games to “get in a little rhythm,” but said the offense overall won’t scrap its no-huddle offense or the aggressive strategy that has dazzled at home and flopped at times on the road.
“We’re still keeping that same mindset,” Flacco said as he prepares to play in Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday.
“We want to come out, we want to put pressure on these guys; we think it gives us an advantage. And it’s something we’ve been building and we’re not going to let it go. I think it’s part of the reason why we’ve been very good at times. For us to throw it out would be a little bit foolish of us just because a couple times here and there we haven’t played great offense.”
The Ravens are averaging 15 points on the road. The unit has scored just one touchdown in the last 10 road quarters.
But there have been flashes of what the unit is capable of on the arm of Flacco and with a no-huddle, passing attack. The Ravens have averaged 32.3 points at M&T Bank Stadium
The Ravens debuted that in Week 1 with a 44-13 win over Cincinnati, pushing fans and pundits to declare that the Flacco-led Baltimore offense was poised to carry the team.
The unit posted 430 total yards of offense. Flacco outdueled New England’s Tom Brady in Week 2, leading the offense to 503 total yards and a 31-30 victory. The offense logged 438 yards and 23 points against Cleveland and 24 points with less than 20 minutes of possession versus Dallas.
“I think we’re really building something here and I think [the no-huddle is] a big part of it,” Flacco said. “So I think we have to continue to make that a big part of it.”
One issue with running the no-huddle offense on the road is crowd noise. If a team can take the crowd out of the game, it’s not as much of an issue.
Such was the case in the first half in Philadelphia, when Baltimore scored 17 straight points to take a 10-point lead into the locker room. Lincoln Financial Field didn’t start rocking until Flacco threw an interception on the first series of the second drive and the Eagles quickly answered with a touchdown.
In Kansas City, the offense never really got going until the second half. In Houston, a safety and interception returned for a touchdown put the unit in an early hole and sent Reliant Stadium into a frenzy.
Baltimore could huddle more often in the beginning in hopes of taking a quick lead, then use the no-huddle more to pull away from teams when the stadium is quieter and communicating is easier.
When it is noisy, the Ravens have two options: communicate better or communicate less.
“Communication is definitely more of an issue when you’re playing on the road,” Flacco said. “There’s ways that we have to go about communicating better when we have to, and at times limiting some of that so we can let our guys go play.”
“I think the second half of the year, the best thing we have to do is all be on the same page, and let Joe drive this thing, let the coaches call the plays and we’ll go out there and execute at a high level,” Rice said.