New Offense 'Awesome' For Ray Lewis


Ray Lewis has seen his share of offensive struggles during his time in Baltimore.

In Lewis' 17 NFL seasons, the Ravens have averaged the 18th best offense in the NFL. They haven't ranked in the top 10 since 1997.

But this year's group looks much different and Lewis likes what he sees.

"It's awesome from my side," Lewis said. "I just think it's awesome as a team to go out and just click on all aspects."

Baltimore debuted an up-tempo, no-huddle offense in Monday night's 44-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, and the unit piled up 430 total yards. They only punted twice.

After Monday's victory, Lewis was asked if this is the kind of offense he has been eager to see for years.

"I've been here a long time," Lewis responded. "You can finish that off for me."

The offense attracted attention coming into the season, as Flacco was sharp in training camp and the preseason. Pundits speculated that the Ravens finally had the offense to match their defensive supremacy.

Lewis said he's never looked at it that way.

"I know a lot of people are putting emphasis on our offense and what our offense does," Lewis said. "But we've always believed in our offense, and I just think Joe has a lot of new pieces now that he can really play with."

Some of the pieces that Lewis is referring to are players like wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith. Jones was signed as a free agent this offseason and Smith is now in his second NFL season. They both have explosive speed, which fits the quick-strike offense that the Ravens want to run.

They can stretch out defenses, which creates space for playmakers like Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin. When Flacco plays as well as he did Monday night, he can find the open players wherever they are on the field.

That combination of new pieces, along with Flacco's development, gives the Ravens all the tools to be one of the NFL's elite offenses.

And that has Lewis smiling.

"You watch all the great offenses around the league, they are really moving to that fast-break offense, and for us to go to it right now, with all the pieces we have, I think it's a great thing," Lewis said.

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