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Monken on the red zone struggles


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Of late


The Baltimore Ravens offense, like many across the NFL this season, has bogged down in the red zone of late, scoring touchdowns on just two of their last nine trips, including 1 of 6 in a Week 6 win over Tennessee in London.

With the red area struggles, offensive coordinator Todd Monken expected questions on the subject this week.

"It starts with how we game plan it, how we call it, and then how we execute it," Monken responded Thursday, via the team's official website. "It's really that simple. We did an elite level early on and executed down there being able to run it in. We just have to do a better job of -- like I said -- scheming it, do a better job of executing it when we have those opportunities.

"We've done a good job the last couple of weeks of moving the football. That has not been the issue. We've solved some of those things in terms of being more explosive; creating our own identity; having a better rhythm. But turnovers and execution at the wrong times have hurt us -- there's no way around it. You've seen it, and we have to be better, and we're capable of better. That's the way it is, we are capable of it."

Last week, an ineffective rushing attack led to much of the red-zone troubles, as Baltimore was repeatedly stuffed in short-yardage situations.

Heading into Sunday's showdown with the 5-1 Detroit Lions, Monken, Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Ravens offense must answer whether the red-zone struggles were a two-week blip or a more systemic issue. During the first four weeks of the season, Baltimore went 12 of 15 in the red zone, the top percentage in the league over that span.

Baby steps, something wicked this ways comes, me thinks 🤔 😀


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The Ravens offense has a lot of potential but they can't seem to kill off opposing teams. I think that for whatever reason the play calling sucks when they have the lead. I don't know on who's shoulders that falls but somebody ain't doing the job in the second half.

I just re-watched last week's game and that fact stood out as paramount to me. We should have kicked ass after we got ahead.

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Well, to be fair, a lineman misses a block, a penalty for holding, the offense is faced with third and forever.

That has happened numerous times in the 2nd half, the 3rd quarter leading to a few 3 & outs.

Who is at fault?

Sure, some of that is on the stubbornness to get the run game going, not a bad idea, but it too can lead to a 3 & out.

We've seen them pile up, before we know it, the 3rd quarter is over and they have gained what 10 yards total?

Blame the play calling or the players, plenty of blame to go around.

Come out throwing, no one open, an errant pass, a sack. 3 & out again, who is to blame?

What patterns were called? Why was a block missed that lead to a sack? Who was responsible for the blocking calls? Did Lamar miss a blitz? Did he audible from the initial call?

So many things go into why a series was only 3 plays, including the defenses making adjustments at half time, changing coverages, rush patterns...

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One thing for sure that isn't helping is the run game isn't doing well when we're ahead. I believe the backs, Gus and Hill, are giving it everything they've got but the blocking just isn't there this year. No holes. Maybe a lack of emphasis on run blocking in practice is to blame. The pass protection has actually been pretty good and Lamar has shown a new ability to get the ball out faster.

But if you can't get the run game going, go back to the pass game. Slants and quick outs with an occasional medium to deep ball to keep them off balance. Our team has become one I think where they have to use the pass to set up the run rather than the usual vice-versa.

One thing they shouldn't do is rely on Lamar running in the red zone which I saw too much of. One, it isn't working and Two, he's going to get hurt in the scrum down there.

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Keep in mind, the injuries to the line, both tackles, a center, even a guard got nicked up. This, all while playing some very good defenses.

Especially ones with very good run defenses, outside rush backers.

While Detroit has Hutchensen, the Ravens have had plenty of "practice" this year with dynamic edge rushers, so hopefully Moses, Stanley, etc are good & ready.

I do believe that this offense is on the cusp, with the line now a game into being fully healthy, if the wind isn't too bad Sunday, that they are ready to break out, a game of 150+ ruahing, 200+ passing and few if any turnovers.


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7 hours ago, tsylvester said:

I do believe that this offense is on the cusp, with the line now a game into being fully healthy, if the wind isn't too bad Sunday, that they are ready to break out, a game of 150+ rushing, 200+ passing and few if any turnovers.

If they can achieve that I'll be a happy camper. And we just might beat them.

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I believe a huge key to our success is from the running attack.  I don’t think we have yet produced a 100 yd game from a RB this year.   Imagine if we did  on a  regular basis would significantly improve our offensive efficiency, esp in the red zone.

Also, I haven’t seen our rookie back - Keaton Mitchell - even though he has been cleared to play.  What are we waiting for coach ? I’d like to see him get some touches tomorrow !! 👍

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I too would like to see Mitchell get some carries. Our running game needs a shot in the arm though I think it's more the line blocking than the backs. We'll need both a running and passing offense clicking if we want to beat the Lions. Funny, with Roquan back there I'm not too worried about our defense. I think it can hold it's own against anybody.

I also think Monken will get the offense sorted but it may take another week or two. We did all say it would take several games for his offense to sink in with the players and execution. No matter what, I'd rather watch his offense than Roman's any day.


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Yes papa, true, but they have. They did it in each game this year save 3. In Pit, they almost did it but for what ever reason, they literally dropped the ball. In the endzone, on key downs in the field.

Against Indi, maybe they tried too hard, maybe they under estimated the Colts defense, the play calling was suspect, the plays run terribly..

But they have scored on their opening drive, mostly touchdowns, in almost every game.

They have scored first in every game. They move the ball well in just about every game.

Did you see the Chiefs, Chargers game or the Eagles, Dolphins game?

Do teams routinely score on every read zone, touchdowns? Do they score on every drive in the first half and continue in the 2nd?


But control.

Now, the Lions are not as good as some think, not as bad as they looked yesterday.

Some of those plays were just complete break downs in the defense, the one to Riccard, the one to Gus as examples.

But what we saw, that will happen in every game, is Lamar had time, waited for windows to open and found them in stride.

The line was phenomenal.

Receivers caught the ball and, ran their routes properly, timely. They even stemmed on the comeback routes which made for easy catches and some yac.

All things they did, again, in every game this year so far, save 3. Really two, again the Pit game was an outlier, the drops. Plays were there to be made.

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They do have to show they can do it on a weekly basis. Sure there will be always be a week or two were even the best teams have an off day, even KC, but I do want to see them playing solidly like yesterday most of the time. They have played very well in the first halves for the most part. Monken has turned the pass game around as long as we don't have a multi-player game of the dropsies. We just have to concentrate on playing as well in the second half as the first.

Yesterday the Ravens were dominant. I think they would have beaten any team in the league yesterday. Now the task is to play the same way against a very weak Cardinal team. I'm hoping we don't play down to the level of competition next week or have a day when  they feel all they have to do is show up to win. That motivational part will be on Harbaugh and it's something he's done pretty well over his career: don't have your team have a swelled head when playing inferior teams.

I think they'll beat Arizona easily but it could be a trap game if we aren't prepared.

I was glad to see Lamar's demeanor after the game yesterday. He pointed out there were some areas they had to work on which is a good thing. The team has a chance to do something really special this year and right now I think they'll succeed.

One final note: if you give Lamar time to pass he'll carve you up as well as any quarterback in the game. The O-line was tremendous as was his ability to move in the pocket until a receiver got open. And the defense was just 'wow'.

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The defense will be challenged, I loved Smith's response, "letting up too many yards at the end"

He knows there will be better offensive lines and qbs coming their way.

They got lucky a few times Goff was so concerned with the rush that he didn't see a wide open receiver for a big gain.

It happened a few times, a more mobile qb, a better qb would have caught them.

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I don't think, from what I've read on several sources, that the Ravens are swelled up with ego or even full satisfaction after the whipping they gave Detroit. They will take care of business against the Cardinals. I do NOT expect another runaway victory. I think we'll find a competent victory over a struggling team.


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8 hours ago, papasmurfbell said:

I am wondering if the Lions were busy last week reading their press clippings.  Did they hear they were the #1 team when SF and Philthy went down last week and think their S dont stink?  Can Zona steal one like they did from Dallas who also thought they  were the world beaters and laid an egg.

If not for the Indi and especially the Pit game, I might agree. But those two games showed this team that they need to be focused.

Shoot, they watch other games as well, they saw SanFran law an egg last night to an average at best team, to a qb who was was 2-10 in night games?

They saw Dallas get hosed by the cards. Agent 0 and Andrews will keep them grounded and focused

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