Super Bowl LI: What the Ravens Can Learn From The Falcons

The Baltimore Ravens can learn a lot from the Atlanta Falcons, who made it to the Super Bowl in dominant fashion:

The Atlanta Falcons have given Matt Ryan, everything that the Ravens have not given Joe Flacco. Ryan has a great offensive coordinator in Kyle Shanahan. He has a great offensive line. Most importantly, Ryan has Julio Jones and other weapons to throw the football to. The Ravens have either failed to fix their problems or have neglected the offensive side of the football altogether. After some down years, Ryan is resurgent and looking like an MVP, while the Ravens are wondering if Flacco is spoiled goods.

The Ravens can learn a lot from the Falcons from a strategic point of view. Flacco aired the football out more than any other quarterback, and while he had his first 4,000 yard season, the results were underwhelming. There is no rhyme or reason to Marty Mornhinweg’s play-calling. The Falcons on the other hand set plays up with their play-calling. Kyle Shanahan knows what plays work for every coverage scheme, more importantly he empowers Ryan to adjust the play at the line. Everything has a purpose, which is why their wide receivers tend to rack up yards after the catch.

The Falcons have play-makers all over the field and they attack every inch of it. Their running game sets up their play-action passing. Their short passes and screens set up their deep passes. When the Falcons play it looks easy. They have a plan, they adjust as needed and they have the weapons to make it work.

The Moral of the Story:

The Ravens should give Flacco a legitimate number one receiver. They have had good receivers. They have never had a player like Julio Jones. There is a big difference between having a superstar and having a great receiver who is past his prime. The Ravens need to add a player like Julio Jones. They need a game changer on offense. Then they need a complementary piece to the puzzle. If the Patriots take away Julio Jones they still have to stop a slew of good players. A top tier receiver, Dennis Pitta and Kenneth Dixon could form a big three for the offense. If the Ravens want to emulate the Falcons groove, they have to get a receiver that keeps Mike Tomlin and Marvin Lewis up at night.

The Ravens need to start with getting the play-makers. Then they have to fix their offensive strategy. If they use Kenneth Dixon to open up the passing game, and they attack the entire field, rather than playing scrunched up behind the line to gain, it can work. Build the roster, hopefully common sense will come.

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