We've heard analysis about the Ravens' offensive play-calling against the Patriots from everyone in the world but Cam Cameron over the last few days.
This afternoon, it was the offensive coordinator's turn to share his side of the story.
Outside of denying rumors regarding a meeting with quarterback Joe Flacco and whether the Ravens have put limits on Flacco's ability to make his own decisions while in the pocket, Cameron also was asked whether he feels he got too conservative in his play-calling down the stretch in the Patriots game.
"Everybody has a view of that," Cameron said. "Sometimes, plays, the way they turn out, kind of look conservative. I learned this back with LaDanian [Tomlinson, when both were with the Chargers] - handing the ball to Ray Rice is not conservative, because we've all seen that thing run right out of the stadium. It's just a little bit of a mindset.
"I really kind of understand it. Passing is aggressive and running is conservative. But in reality, depending on your personnel, it's really not the case. So, we don't want to be conservative, but we want to be smart aggressive. I think that's what we want to be. We want to be aggressive and smart and then execute at the same time."
After Billy Cundiff's 25-yard field goal gave the Ravens a 20-10 lead seven seconds into the fourth quarter, the Ravens were pretty balanced from an offensive standpoint, running the ball nine times and putting it in the air 11 times through the remainder of the fourth quarter and overtime.
But of Flacco's 11 passes in that time frame, only two went down the field. The rest were either dump-offs to Rice or underneath patterns to Anquan Boldin or Derrick Mason.
Part of the reason for the lack of deep shots down the field late in the game is that Flacco was often facing a two-deep defensive look from the Patriots, a scheme which has given the third-year quarterback some problems in the past.
During Cameron's session with reporters, I brought up the Pats' two-deep scheme, which featured the middle linebacker dropping back deep into coverage, and asked Cameron whether this is a look that he would like to see his offense get more comfortable working against.
Cameron said that the Patriots showed that same look at times earlier in the game, but that, at times, the Ravens' inability to move the ball on the early downs put them in a tough position.
"What really got us and allowed them to play that coverage is I think we had eight or nine 3rd-and-9-plusses," Cameron said. "So, think about it. You're playing defense. It's 3rd-and-9-plus. Probably, most teams aren't running the ball on 3rd-and-9-plus. They're spying the screens, which everyone's doing to us the entire year. And so, it's really something we've seen throughout the year. They had an opportunity to play it, and a lot of that was due to some things that we need to improve on first and second down. So, the best answer for that coverage, number one, is to not be in 3rd-and-long that many times."
Going back through the game book from Sunday, I count six instances where the Ravens had, as Cameron called them, 3rd-and-9-plusses. Five of those six came in the first half, with the other coming in overtime. On those six third-downs, Flacco was 6-of-6 and the Ravens picked up the first down on three occasions.
In the fourth quarter and overtime, four of the Ravens' five failed third-down plays came when they needed to pick up six yards or fewer.
The Ravens might need to improve their play on the early downs and do a better job avoiding 3rd-and-longs, as Cameron says. But that doesn't appear to be the issue that the Ravens faced late in the game against the Patriots.