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Joe Flacco: Ravens 'are going to have to run the ball'

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Only one team throws the ball more than the Baltimore Ravens: the Cleveland Browns.

Mining their way to a 7-6 record, the Ravens find themselves in the playoff hunt thanks to a hurly-burly, stingy defense and an offense that does just enough to put teams away.

Still, the Ravens have served as a yearlong curiosity thanks to their tendency to pass the ball whether they're up, down or tied.

"There is no doubt we are going to have to run the ball, especially if teams are going to go out and play two high (safeties) against us like the Patriots did," said quarterback Joe Flacco, per The Baltimore Sun. "We have to be able to hand the ball off and get yardage out of it and really make do. Because then it is going to get the play-action game going a little bit more and make it that much better."

When the Ravens fired play-caller Marc Trestman earlier this season, his dismissal was believed to be partially tied to Baltimore's reluctance to get the ground game going. In came new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, but little has changed.

While both Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon have logged their share of positive game tape, Mornhinweg has leaned on the pass just as Trestman did -- something he acknowledged this week in assessing Baltimore's loss to New England.

"I came out of the game and we had a plan early, and then, geez, it went the other way, and we're playing catch up," Mornhinweg said. "That's my responsibility -- unable to utilize the running game as much as I thought we would going into that game. That's my responsibility. Certainly, knowing the outcome, I would have done that a little differently."

Said Mornhinweg: "Every game is so different and the plan going in will be so different every game. I believe both the run and the pass are very, very important to our football team."

With games left against the Eagles, Steelers and Bengals, the Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives. Leaning on an up-and-down Flacco -- who leads the NFL with 42.2 passes per game this season -- is dangerous territory.

The Ravens have a pair of capable backs. It's time to use them.

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