NFL

Stephen A. Smith challenges Ravens to change offensive philosophy

The Baltimore Ravens have the 27th-ranked passing offense in the NFL, and for that reason, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes Baltimore could be one-and-done when the playoffs roll around.

On a recent episode of “First Take,” Smith and former Pro Bowl receiver Keyshawn Johnson debated the Ravens’ chances in the postseason if they continued to struggle passing the ball like they have through the first 10 games.

“If you are Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, you’re going to have to show that you can throw that damn football in order for real success to come your way,” Smith said. “If they weren’t running the football effectively but they were throwing it considerably better, I would feel far, far, far more confident about what I’m seeing from the Ravens.

“The fact that that still hasn’t been the case and your offense is still predicated — of course the greatness of Lamar Jackson is what it is — but I’m saying predicated on his running ability concerns me.”

While the Ravens (7-3) have the No. 2 rushing offense in the NFL (162.8 yards per game), they rank 21st in average yards per receptions (10.7), 28th receiving yards per game (197.7) and 29th in receptions (184).

Jackson is ninth in touchdown passes (18), but he also ranks 14th in passer rating (91.7), 22nd in passing yards (1,977), 24th in completion percentage (63.4) and he’s tied for the ninth-most interceptions (7).

Of Baltimore’s seven remaining games, just one is against a top-10 pass defense — Week 13 against the Denver Broncos.


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