Ravens Offense Among League Leaders


Coming out of an explosive preseason, there were questions of whether the Ravens offense was for real.

After three weeks, the stats show Baltimore's offense is one of the league's best.

The Ravens are second in points scored per game (32.7) and fourth in the NFL in average yards per game (419.3). The Ravens only trail the Washington Redskins (33) in points scored per game.

Baltimore is tops in the league in red zone offense, scoring touchdowns on six of eight possessions and notching field goals on the other two.

Quarterback Joe Flacco is second in the NFL in passing yards (913), only behind the New York Giants' Eli Manning (1,011).

One sign of the offense's arrival, which is a major shift from from Baltimore's legendary defensive reputation, was displayed Sunday night against New England. When the defense was having trouble versus Tom Brady and Co., Baltimore's offense stepped [add] up and won a shootout.

"We know what our offense is capable of," cornerback Cary Williams said after Sunday's game. "We know what they can do, and we've got full confidence in them."

The Ravens offense came under outside-the-building fire after Week 2's game in Philadelphia, in which it stalled in the second half and struggled to convert on third down. The offense also stumbled out of the gates Sunday night.

But the unit got in a rhythm after New England took a 13-0 lead. The Ravens knew they were in for a shootout. Last year's AFC championship similarly turned into a track meet, but the Ravens unit just couldn't keep pace. This time, it did.

"There was definitely a sense of urgency to go down there and really be successful in each drive we had," Flacco said.

Tight end Dennis Pitta added that the Ravens have been preparing this entire offseason so that they could win an offensive shootout. Baltimore has shown a faster-[hyphen]paced unit, able to score quickly and often if needed.

"That's the kind of league that it's evolving into," Pitta said. "You've got to have a potent offense. You've got to be able to put points up on the board."

Like against New England, Flacco and the offense had a chance for a final game-winning drive the week before in Philadelphia. They needed just a field goal to win and had one minute, 48 seconds to move into position. The Ravens picked up two first downs but stalled after that.

That failure didn't weigh on the Ravens Sunday night versus the Patriots, however.

"We knew we could do it. There's definitely that feeling," guard Marshal Yanda said.

"Three or four years ago, we would have thought, 'Oh, I don't know if we can do it.' But now when we get the ball, we're thinking about scoring. We only needed three, so we were like, 'Hey we can do this.' I have a lot of confidence in Joe, and I have a lot of confidence in the guys."

Lost in Flacco's 382-yard, three-touchdown performance Sunday night was that the offense posted 503 total yards. That's the third-most in franchise history.

"We didn't feel like they could stop us," wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. "Once we figured out what they were doing defensively, the only ones who could stop us were ourselves."

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