After several weeks it would rather forget, the Ravens offense delivered its finest performance of 2017 last Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland.
There was a whole lot to like about the offense's contribution to Baltimore's 30-17 victory.
Joe Flacco tossed a 52-yard completion to Mike Wallace on the game's first snap. There were several long scoring drives featuring a blend of running and passing plays. The offensive line dominated. The chains moved all day.
Could it lead to better days for a unit that was under intense scrutiny before the Oakland game? Flacco thinks so.
"I definitely think it's going to carry over," the Ravens quarterback said Wednesday at the Under Armour Performance Center. "We're working hard in there. Guys are definitely ready to go and want to be involved and make a splash. We're working hard to do that. I think it's going to carry over."
The tone and direction of Flacco's weekly session with reporters was a lot different from his session just a week earlier.
That day, in the wake of back-to-back losses in which the first-team offense produced just one touchdown, Flacco critiqued his own performance and said the offense need to play with more confidence. Wednesday, Flacco smiled when recalling the confidence he saw in Oakland.
"You could see guys late in the game; I picture Mike (Wallace) on the sideline with that big smile on his face. That's what we want every week. That's what we strive to go out there and do," Flacco said.
After opening the Oakland game with the long completion to Wallace, Flacco took another deep shot in the second quarter that turned into a 54-yard reception by Wallace.
The deep ball, a familiar element of the Ravens offense, had been missing in 2017 until then. Its arrival, however belated, could have a major impact, Flacco said.
"Even if you throw some that are incomplete, it puts in their heads that you're trying to do that, and that can affect them in certain ways," he said. "I think its huge for the type of offense that we run and what we're going to do going forward."
Flacco commented on several other positive developments Wednesday, including the all-around play of running back Buck Allen and the feistiness of center Ryan Jensen. When the wide receivers make plays, he said, it gives their unit "a boost of energy."
But Flacco also was careful to point out that the Ravens offense can't afford to relax even though it had quieted some of the criticism that was swirling around it. Another test awaits this Sunday against the Chicago Bears at M&T Bank Stadium.
"You still have to make sure you have the same sense of urgency you had (in a game after) you didn't play well. We definitely want to make sure we come out swinging in this game, just like we did last week," Flacco said. "It was definitely a step in the right direction. I think we're a confident group. But you have to go out there and play well and prove yourself all the time."