On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Sep. 25, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EDT Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sun., Sep. 25, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Purple Poses & Pints Join us for an hour long fitness session comprised of yoga, pilates and barre elements, tasting and tour compliments of Flying Dog and a Ravens custom giveaway!
  • Sun., Sep. 25, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Ravens at Jaguars on BaltimoreRavens.com or in the Ravens mobile app.
  • Sun., Sep. 25, 2016 1:00 PM EDT Purple Club Happy Hour What's better than Happy Hour specials and Baltimore Ravens football? A Purple Club Happy Hour! Join the Purple club this season at various Buffalo Wild Wings locations to watch the Ravens on the road.
  • Sun., Sep. 25, 2016 3:45 PM EDT Live Post Game Presser John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following the game.
  • Mon., Sep. 26, 2016 4:00 PM EDT Live John Harbaugh Presser Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will address the media.
  • Wed., Sep. 28, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Live Press Conference Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following practice.
  • Thu., Sep. 29, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Live Coordinators Presser Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and special team coordinator Jerry Rosburg will address the media.
  • Sat., Oct. 01, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Oct. 01, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT Ravens Wired See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.

News

Print
RSS

Mixing Up First-Down Play Calls

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Despite some criticism, the Ravens have been mostly balanced on their first-down calls.

The Ravens had just caught a break in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Packers, recovering their own blocked punt to give the offense another set of downs and a chance to move the football.

The offense came out in an I-formation set on first down and ran Ray Rice up the middle for no gain, which brought down a light chorus of boos from a home crowd that was frustrated with the lack of production in the running game. At that point, the Ravens had run the ball on five of their seven first-down plays, for a total of eight yards.

The Ravens showed a commitment to running the ball, especially early in the game, and after the loss quarterback Joe Flacco was asked if the Ravens were too predictable on first downs.

“I always feel like we can mix it up a little bit more on first and second down just to get everybody going,” Flacco said. “It’s tough to say when we’re just not running the ball up to the ability that we think we should run it.”

There was some criticism of the Ravens’ run-first tendency, but a closer look at the overall game shows that the Ravens were very balanced calling run and pass on first downs. The Ravens ran the ball on 15 of their 28 first downs in the contest (53.5 percent).

Balancing those first down calls is critical to prevent getting too predictable.

“We try to keep as much balance as we can in most situations,” Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell said Thursday. “But it doesn’t always work out that way.”

The truth is that Caldwell has been almost completely balanced in calling run or pass plays on first down. The Ravens have run the ball on 52.5 percent (93 of 177) of their first-down plays this season.

“You’d like to try to be balanced so that you don’t have too many things in terms of tendencies that they can game plan against,” Caldwell said. “But that’s not the end-all, be-all in that situation because of the fact that most good teams have some sort of tendencies because they do some things extremely well and they don’t care if you know it or not.”

Rather than the issue of play calling, the problem for the Ravens has been the actual execution on early downs.  The Ravens have seen little success running the football, especially on first down.

Of the Ravens’ 93 first-down rushes this season, those runs have gone for an average of 3.12 yards per carry, ranked 30th in the league. On 12 of those runs, the ball carrier was stopped in the backfield for a loss of yards. 

“It’s an execution game and we just haven’t executed consistently well enough to get the kind of yardage we need on first down, second down, the run downs situation,” Caldwell said.

Flacco pointed to the same issue.

“If we were running the ball better, we wouldn’t be saying it,” Flacco said. “We wouldn’t be talking about it. We’re just not getting the yardage and the creases that we need right now in that part, and we’re kind of unsuccessful at a lot of other things we do just because of that.”

The Ravens have stressed this week that they are combing through multiple aspects of their offense to see if they can make changes, including scheme, play calling and personnel.

“In some cases you have to make some [changes],” Caldwell said. “If things aren’t going extremely well, then you have to make some adjustments. And we look at every single aspect."

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos