Coming out of their bye week, the Baltimore Ravens are priming to make a run at the postseason. But first, they have to course-correct on offense.
Despite averaging 26 points per game over their last five, Baltimore's attack remains stuck in the mud. Joe Flacco's unit is last in the league in yards per play (4.4), thanks to a league-worst pass offense -- 5.3 yards per attempt, 166 yards per game, 74.6 passer rating (ranked 29th).
But things are looking up in Charm City. The Ravens are welcoming back two running backs -- Terrance West (calf) and Danny Woodhead (hamstring) -- to a backfield kept alive by Alex Collins and his near-league-best 5.6 yards per carry. With the return of two short-yardage weapons imminent, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg sees now as the time to strike and mount a rally toward January.
"We always want to be aggressive," he said Thursday, per The Baltimore Sun. "Look, there's been a few times when we've tried to be aggressive, and it's blown up on us. And there's been other times when we've tried to be aggressive and then we're up by two or three scores. So we need to be more consistently aggressive and be aggressive in a real smart way."
Mornhinweg added the offense emphasized during the bye week culling turnovers and improving its anemic yards per attempt mark.
His recipe to save the offense? "First of all, schemes. Second of all, getting some big fellows in some space. Third, breaking tackles or making the big play down the field."
If Baltimore can string together a few competent showings on offense, then the 4-5 Ravens can sneak, or barge, into the postseason in a weak AFC wild-card field. Baltimore has the third-easiest remaining strength of schedule in the AFC and the easiest of the teams on the outside of the playoff picture looking in (@GB, HOU, DET, @PIT, @CLE, IND, CIN).
With that schedule, the Ravens should be able to avoid missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, as long as they execute Mornhinweg's aggressive blueprint for success, starting this Sunday in Wisconsin.