Owings Mills, Md. The Baltimore Ravens had all of training camp and the entire regular season to turn their retooled offense into a point-scoring, yardage-eating machine.
And still, as Baltimore prepares to open the playoffs Sunday in Kansas City, the unit remains a work in progress.
The addition of wide receivers Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth and T.J. Houshmandzadeh — along with the maturation of third-year quarterback Joe Flacco — was supposed to enhance a passing game that last year finished 18th in the NFL. The Ravens dropped to 20th this season and ranked 22nd in total offense, down nine notches from a year ago.
“What we need to do is eliminate mistakes and just perform the way we practice,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday. “The great thing about the playoffs is that it’s a new season, and it’s proven year after year that teams can elevate their play. What better time for us to play the way you’ve seen us play in spurts throughout the entire season in various games?”
In a win-or-go-home environment, there can be no more slip ups.
“We’re going to have to click on all cylinders,” wide receiver Derrick Mason said. “We got to make some things work, regardless of what’s called. We can no longer point the finger. We got to make it work as an offensive unit. There’s no more excuses, because excuses are going to get you beat.”