In two games, opponents are holding a 14:34 advantage in time of possession. With the Ravens opting for high-tempo, no-huddle offense, long sustained drives are a thing of the past. In Baltimore’s 24-23 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, the Eagles dominated possession, holding a 34:21 advantage.
Though the no-huddle offense is supposed to make up for time of possession with additional plays, the Eagles were able to run 75 offensive plays to Baltimore’s 65.
Baltimore had the ball for 4:34 in the third quarter after entering it with a 17-7 lead. The Ravens passed the ball on their first eight plays of the period, picking up one first down. This left the defense on the field for more than 10 minutes of the third quarter. The result: Baltimore gave up 10 points to put the Eagles back in the game.
In years past, the Ravens might have turned to Ray Rice and the running game to pick up first downs with a lead. That’s not the case now. As far as coach John Harbaugh is concerned, if both phases executed their assignments then there wouldn’t be a discussion.
“The best thing to do to stay off the field, and those guys will be the first to tell you, is to get stops,” Harbaugh said. “You stop them, you come off the field. That’s our goal all the time. Offensively, if we get first downs they won’t be out there no matter what tempo you’re going at, and the bottom line is we have to get stops.”
The next step for Baltimore’s no-huddle appears to be learning how to play with a lead. Up 10 and entering the third, the Ravens didn’t work much of the clock. Though the Ravens want to speed the tempo up at times, there’s nothing wrong with slowing it down when the situation presents itself.
Nothing he can do about it: After QB Joe Flacco and receiver Jacoby Jones said they didn’t agree with certain calls the replacement referees made, Harbaugh was asked if there’s anything he and his fellow coaches can do about the NFL locking out its officials.
“That’s out of our hands,” Harbaugh said. “We do have confidence in the league with how they approach the officials, both in the long term and in the short term.”
Flacco and Jones were specifically upset about an offensive pass interference penalty called on Jones that negated a touchdown that would’ve put Baltimore up 27-17 midway through the fourth quarter. Instead, Baltimore settled for a field goal and Philadelphia drove down the field to win the game.
“It’s going to come down to him and how he can deal with that pain,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a pretty tough guy.”
With an early Week 3 meeting between both teams, don’t think these moves were made by coincidence.
“I’m sure (Quarles) is getting put under the bright lights right now, being interrogated,” Harbaugh said, smiling.
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.