Despite starting a backup quarterback and facing the lowest-rated run defense in the league, the Ravens remained a pass-heavy offense against Miami on Sunday in their 15-13 loss, and former Ravens linebacker Brad Jackson has a theory as to why: In short, NFL offensive coordinators like Baltimore's Marc Trestman feel pressure to put up big numbers.
"It’s the problem with these coordinators," Jackson said on CSN's Ravens Postgame Live. "They are looking for their next job. Let’s call an ace an ace and a spade a spade. The only way to do that … is by having a quarterback to have 300 yards passing, three or four touchdowns."
Schaub did put up some robust numbers in the loss -- going 32-for-46 for 308 yards and a touchdown, but his two interceptions -- one that was returned for a score -- were critical mistakes.
The Ravens dropped back to throw on 49 of their 75 offensive plays (46 passes and three sacks), compared with 26 runs. That means 65 percent of their snaps on Sunday were called passing plays, slightly above their season average of 63 percent.
"Fantasy numbers and fantasy points have become so enlarged and a part of life and the culture of football all the way around," Jackson added, "that instead of just doing what’s necessary to be done to win the football game, now they got to be creative and do some unnecessary things. When it’s third-and-1 and third-and-2, just run the football.”
To be fair, the Ravens did run on third-and-short and on fourth-and-inches in one critical juncture early in the game and failed to get the first down, turning the ball over on downs inside the Dolphins 5-yard line.
And the Ravens had more trouble running the ball than might have been expected; they averaged 3.6 yards a carry, with 96 yards on 24 carries. Buck Allen led the way with 63 yards on 17 carries. The Dolphins entered the game ranked last in the league in run defense, allowing more than 138 rushing yards a game.
But critics such as Jackson, who more than once this season has said Trestman is too quick to abandon the run, have more ammunition after this latest Ravens loss.