Ravens coach John Harbaugh is something of a history buff. He mentioned that he might take a quick trip to Gettysburg during the Ravens bye week, and frequently uses quotes from history as motivation.
Here's a quote credited to Winston Churchill that might resonate with the Ravens these days:
" Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
For the Ravens, history would suggest that Ray Rice needs to carry the ball more than the nine times he did in the Ravens 43-13 loss at Houston.
Did the Ravens fail to learn from their history?
Last year, the Ravens offense melted down on national television in a 12-7 loss at Jacksonville. Rice had just eight carries in that game, prompting Terrell Suggs and others to sound off about Rice's workload.
Harbaugh, speaking the next day, said, “Eight carries is never going to be a winning formula for Ray Rice. There is no doubt about it.”
Three weeks later, Rice had just five carries in a 22-17 loss to Seattle.
After that game, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said, "By the end of this season, (Rice) needs to be a guy who is getting the ball as much or more than anybody in the league. That gives us the best chance to win."
Which brings us to this week, as the Ravens lick their wounds from the beatdown the Texans put on them. Rice carried just nine times for 42 yards in that game, both season-lows.
He started out well, averaging 9 yards on three carries on the Ravens' opening drive. On the Ravens' next drive, they threw three straight incompletions and punted. The two drives after that, which included only one rush by Rice, ended with a safety and an interception return for a touchdown. Suddenly, the Ravens were down 16-3 and on their heels.
As they have in the past, they quickly got away from the run, even though quarterback Joe Flacco was under the gun and off target much of the day. To be sure, more carries for Rice might not have made the difference against a tenacious Texans team that was playing at home, firing on all cylinders and running over a banged-up Ravens defense.
But on Monday, Harbaugh said that,"We could have stayed with the run a little more patiently. Once they got the tip-ball interception, we felt like we needed to try to get back in that thing a little bit more quickly because of the type of team they are. We probably all say we could have been a little bit more patient with the run ."
Sounds a lot like history repeating itself.