2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens' uplifting win can't mask team's flaws

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 17:12

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens still have flaws in their running game, Joe Flacco is getting hit far too often in the pocket and the defense let a 17-point lead slip away Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Those shortcomings made it a little more difficult for the Ravens to enjoy a much-needed 20-17 overtime victory that snapped a three-game losing streak and kept the defending Super Bowl champions afloat in the murky AFC playoff picture.

Despite allowing a desperation 51-yard touchdown pass on the final play of regulation, Baltimore (4-5) bounced back to stay in the hunt for the AFC North title and in contention for the conference's second wild-card berth.

''Overcame much adversity ... overcame some of our own mistakes,'' coach John Harbaugh said Monday. ''Our guys held strong at the end, especially after the challenging situation at the end of regulation, when you think you have the game in the hand.''

The victory bought the Ravens an extra week of time as they patiently wait for running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to become healthier - and hopefully, Harbaugh believes, more effective.

Baltimore produced only 85 yards on 30 rushing plays against Cincinnati. Rice was limited to 30 yards on 18 carries and Pierce gained 31 yards on eight attempts.

''We need to get better with our run game,'' Harbaugh said. ''We gained a few more yards, but that to me is negligible because we're not as a successful as we want to be. Not even close.''

It has been an issue that has plagued the offense for the entire season. If the Ravens could have run more efficiently, then perhaps the Bengals wouldn't have gotten the ball back with 1:28 left after Baltimore went three-and-out in a drive that lasted 27 seconds.

''If it was just one thing, you'd either be able to fix it or throw your hands up and say it's something that you can't fix because you don't have the answer,'' Harbaugh said of the team's anemic rushing attack. ''Neither one of those is true. The answers are there, and it's not just the run game. The pass game ties into it as well. The bottom line is we've got to block better, we've got to get guys blocked better.''

Rice had four straight 1,000-yard seasons before this year. At this point, he has 289 yards and is averaging a mere 2.5 yards per carry. Rice missed the third game of the year with a hip flexor strain, and he apparently still hasn't recovered.

''You've got to look at the numbers, and definitely it's not the same,'' Harbaugh conceded. ''So what is it? It's injury, or there's not as much room to run. Or it's both. His health has been a factor, there's no doubt about it. He's working harder to become healthier. That's important to get past that hip flexor. Those are muscle injuries, and it's hard to predict exactly what impact that has, but you've got to assume it's had an impact.''

Pierce isn't 100 percent, either.

''Bernard's had his hamstring issues the last five weeks, which he seems to be coming out of,'' Harbaugh said.

All this would be easier to take if the passing game was clicking, but Flacco threw two interceptions against Cincinnati, lost a fumble upon being hit in the pocket and was sacked five times.

''We got touchdowns which proved to be big, but we struggled all day,'' Flacco said. ''You have to give credit to their defense, but we have to do a lot of things better in order to be successful.''

Next up: A duel in Chicago on Sunday against the Bears. The Ravens are 1-4 on the road, but at least they'll be taking some momentum into Soldier Field.

''It was important to win,'' Harbaugh said of the Cincinnati game. ''We were able to do that, and it meant a lot. Now it's important to win the next game.''

Harbaugh on Monday was presented with the Amos Alonzo Staff Coaching Award. Previous recipients include Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick and Mike Krzyzewski.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dwayne AllenNov 23 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) is inactive Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Trent WilliamsNov 23 12:32p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (ankle, knee) is not expected to play in Week 12 because of his injuries.

Danny LansanahNov 23 12:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah is moving from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker in place of LB Lavonte David (hamstring). LB Orie Lemon will start at strongside linebacker.

Greg JenningsNov 23 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) is active for the team's Week 12 game.

Blidi Wreh-WilsonNov 23 11:52a

The Tennessee Titans have declared CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Kris Durham, CB Marqueston Huff, TE Richard Gordon, DL Ropati Pitoitua, OT Will Svitek inactive for Week 12.

Arian FosterNov 23 11:42a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Kareem Jackson, LB Max Bullough, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 12.

Andre BranchNov 23 11:42a

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, LB Jeremiah George, WR Mike Brown, OT Sam Young, RB Storm Johnson, CB Teddy Williams, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 12.

Crezdon ButlerNov 23 11:42a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared CB C.J. X. Wilson, CB Crezdon Butler, DL Da'Quan Bowers, OT Kevin Pamphile, LB Lavonte David, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron inactive for Week 12.

Jordan CameronNov 23 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared TE Jordan Cameron, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Marlon Moore, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 12.

Rex BurkheadNov 23 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared CB Chris Lewis-Harris, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, WR Greg Little, DL Margus Hunt, RB Rex Burkhead, OT Tanner Hawkinson, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 12.

Dwayne AllenNov 23 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared TE Dwayne Allen, OT Gosder Cherilus, CB Greg Toler, DL Kelcy Quarles, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis, NT Zachariah Kerr inactive for Week 12.

Arian FosterNov 23 11:33a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is out Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Brandon WattsNov 23 11:32a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared OT Austin Wentworth, LB Brandon Watts, OG David Yankey, RB Matt Asiata, LB Michael Mauti, DL Sharrif Floyd, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 12.

Dennis KellyNov 23 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 23 11:22a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not receive a fine or suspension for pleading guilty to driving under the influence charge in North Carolina, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 23 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) was not spotted during early warmups Sunday, Nov. 23, and he's unlikely to play in Week 12.

Lavonte DavidNov 23 10:52a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David (hamstring) will miss the first game of his career Sunday, Nov. 23, as he's out for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 23 10:32a

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) 'needs a miracle' to play Sunday, Nov. 23, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIINov 23 10:12a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's point of emphasis is to get the ball out quickly Sunday, Nov. 23. Head coach Jay Gruden has dumbed down the offense to [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 23 10:02a

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is unlikely to play Sunday, Nov. 23, in Week 12.

Ben TateNov 23 09:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Ben Tate will be active Sunday, Nov. 23, and have a role in Week 12. RB Matt Asiata will be inactive.

Lamar MillerNov 23 09:52a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder, knee) will play Sunday, Nov. 23, according to a source.

Josh GordonNov 23 09:22a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to play 20-30 snaps Sunday, Nov. 23.

Jonas GrayNov 23 09:22a

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray will play Sunday, Nov. 23, after being late to practice Friday, Nov. 21. He'll split carries with RB LeGarrette Blount in Week 12.

Reggie BushNov 22 05:32p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is likely out for Week 12 and is targeting the Thanksgiving Day game Thursday, Nov. 27, to return.

Marcel ReeceNov 22 04:42p

Oakland Raiders FB Marcel Reece earned more carries after his performance in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 20. Reece rushed for 46 yards during a crucial 17-play, 80-yard drive late [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 22 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is highly unlikely to suit up Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 22 01:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was officially activated from the exempt/commissioner permission list Saturday, Nov. 22. In a subsequent move, the team waived LB Keith Pough.

A.J. JenkinsNov 22 12:42p

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

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