Ray Rice was the Ravens' only real offensive bright spot in Sunday's loss to the Bengals, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
But the Pro Bowl running back got only 16 carries all game, while quarterback Joe Flacco put the ball in the air 39 times. That has led many to wonder whether the Ravens have started to change their offensive philosophy from a run-based team to one which will rely more on the passing attack.
Asked if he feels that an offense needs to have an "identity" as a rushing offense or one which will focus first and foremost on the pass, head coach John Harbaugh brushed that idea aside.
"Well, if you want to say it's just going to be this - a running offense or just going to be a passing offense - I'd say it's just bogus, because you have to be able to do everything pretty well," Harbaugh said. "If you think you can line up and run the ball 70 times a game or throw the ball 70 times a game, that's not true. But you have to be able to do both effectively."
Traditionally, we're all aware that the Ravens have been a ground-oriented offense, but over the last handful of years, the NFL as a whole has started to shift to a passing league.
18 quarterbacks threw an average of at least 30 passes per game last year, and signal callers like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Matt Schaub consistently would attempt 35-50 passes per contest.
But the bottom line is this: The Ravens are just 3-7 in the last three years (including playoffs) when Flacco has thrown at least 35 passes.
Some of that might have to do with the fact that teams throw more when they're trailing, but I think we all remember games when the Ravens have come out and flung the ball all over the field, and for the most part, it has backfired.
Given that, it would be hard to argue that the Ravens shouldn't lean a little more on Rice, Willis McGahee and the ground game this year. It might be hard to do so when the Ravens are averaging just 2.7 yards per carry so far this season, but when you have three Pro Bowlers in the backfield, getting a little more of a balance might not be a bad idea.
Harbaugh has refused to question offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's play-calling or imply that the Ravens have neglected the run through the season's first two games. Concluding his thoughts on the run/pass discussion yesterday, Harbaugh said that whatever direction the Ravens turn, they're going to play with a physical edge.
"I'll say this about our identity, and I think it's been established: We want to be a physical football team, a fundamentally sound football team, and rough and tough in everything we do," Harbaugh said. "If you're throwing the ball, that doesn't mean you're not physical and you're not disciplined, you're not smart, you're not tough and all those things. So, you try to find that in all areas. That's our identity."