I hate the perception that the Baltimore Ravens’ defense has carried a mediocre offense throughout their history. This is just not true.
This stigma has hovered over the Ravens’ organization for years, season after season. Don’t get me wrong. There have been times when one could justify such a perception. The days when the Ravens were searching for their franchise quarterback and didn’t have much young talent in the passing game — it was justifiable then.
Those were the days when most Ravens fans were happy with a win from all field goals and no touchdowns; relying on the defense to hold down the fort. However, what needs to be understood — and maybe even meditated upon — is the fact that, those days, are long gone in the city of Baltimore.
The Ravens have had a respectable offense since the late Steve McNair graced Baltimore with his veteran talent as the starting quarterback. Did people forget about the 2006 Ravens squad that went 13-3, gaining home field advantage in the postseason with McNair as their QB? Maybe people have. Granted, that defense is up there with the Super Bowl winning 2000 team, but the offense was nothing to scoff at.
Conversely, one can’t deny the success the team’s experienced since drafting Joe Flacco, who has contributed tremendously to an improved offensive attack in Baltimore. Many analysts (who aren’t fans of the Ravens) hate to admit this, though.
The fact of the matter is, the notion that the Ravens are only survived by their defense just isn’t true anymore. It needs to be thrown out the window completely, with the window then shut and locked.
After hiring offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak, and installing his zone offense, who could still believe the Ravens are only about defense? You just can’t.
Now, that’s not to say the Ravens aren’t primarily known for having a strong defense. You better believe that’s a perception Baltimore will always welcome, considering their defensive consistency — even after hitting a relative downslope in the 2013-’14 season.
People seem to forget that it was less than two years ago that the Ravens shook up the playoffs, leading to another Super Bowl title. So, their reputation as a strong defense is still fresh on people’s minds. But even though Ray Lewis’ retirement provided the motivation, it was Joe Flacco’s arm that carried them to the Lombardi trophy.
With key offensive players like Ray Rice, Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith, the Ravens have proven that their offense has grown tremendously. And they will look to continue that growth with the addition of veteran receiver, Steve Smith Sr., among other notable new faces.
To close this rant, a hard fact has to be thrown out there, so here it goes: The Ravens have made the playoffs nine times in their 18 year history. In eight out of those nine seasons, they finished in the upper-half of the NFL in points scored.
Contrary to popular belief, success for the Ravens does not reflect solely on their defense. A large part of that success has come from a strong offense that’s complemented a dominant defense.
So, can people finally put this perception to rest? I guess only time will tell.