A major issue for the Ravens has been with the receivers getting separation to give quarterback Joe Flacco a better chance of opening up the no-huddle offense.
In Sunday's comeback win vs. the New England Patriots, they did just that.
Flacco completed passes to eight different receivers. And instead of targeting tight end Dennis Pitta 15 times like he had in the previous game, a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Flacco was able to spread the wealth. That made for a more dynamic offense as Flacco threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns.
Torrey Smith, who had a team-high six catches for a game-high 127 yards, was targeted 10 times by Flacco. Pitta had five catches for 50 yards but was targeted only seven times. Anquan Boldin finished with four catches for 48 yards in seven targets. Jacoby Jones only had three catches but had 86 yards in four targets. Ray Rice caught the ball all five times he was targeted for 49.
Figuring out the seams in the Patriots' Cover 2 scheme -- using two safeties to play over the top in the deep zones -- was part of it.
"We had to adjust to what they was doing," Jones said. "They were playing a Cover 2 but they were playing it kind of different. Once we figured out what we were doing it was easy to find the soft spots out there. The safeties didn't really come off the hash (marks) that much.
Just as important was that the replacement officials started calling opposing defenses for illegal contact after five yards downfield. Before Flacco's 5-yard strike to Smith that pulled the Ravens to 30-28, he was sacked for a 12-yard loss. That was negated, however, by a defensive holding call on Brandon Spikes.
Earlier in that drive, Devin McCourty was called for defensive holding on 2nd-and-14 that gave the Ravens an automatic first down.
"It was a technique thing. We did a better job of getting off some of the grabbing stuff," coach John Harbaugh said. "I also think it got called in this game. And when it gets called it cleans up that stuff pretty quick."