Mark Ingram: ‘We know we haven’t played our best as an offense yet’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Ravens’ 2019 season can be viewed in a lot of ways.
The easiest lens to view the season is through the Lamar Jackson MVP season goggles, a year where he ran through defenses all year long en route to being named the league’s unanimous MVP and cemented himself as one of the game’s most talented players.
Then there’s a mass of subplots, some of which include the disappointment in the playoffs, the record-breaking rushing attack and the dominating blowouts in the middle of the season.
But those blowouts may have paved the way for a 2020 plotline, one of the biggest surrounding the Ravens this season: If they’re not blowing a team out, it doesn’t feel quite right.
“Obviously 2019 was a historic year, we just had a lot of things going for us,” running back Mark Ingram said. “The 2020 Ravens are different. We just have to find ways to continue to improve, to continue to get better. We know that we haven’t played our best as an offense yet. We’re striving for excellence, we’re striving for better execution, we’re striving to have a complete 60-minute game, and we’re striving to make sure we have our best football game coming up against the Eagles.”
Perhaps expectations for the Ravens’ offense were too high, or perhaps they were simply too lofty to realistically meet.
The 2019 Ravens averaged 33.2 points per game with a rushing attack that averaged 5.5 yards-per-carry. The blowouts didn’t come until after the bye week in Week 8, but at least for the first half of the season, the Ravens weren’t expected to blow teams out.
This year, with personnel losses of right guard Marshal Yanda, wideout Seth Roberts and tight end Hayden Hurst, paired with reinforcements in the draft, expectations were that the offense wouldn’t skip a beat.
And despite all four of their wins coming by 14 points or more, it’s clear they’re not as dominant as they were a year ago.
After five games, the Ravens are averaging 29.8 points per game, but they haven’t put all the pieces together yet. Tight end Mark Andrews made it abundantly clear they still need to improve as the year goes on.
But for now, they’re still trying to find the groove that made them 14-2 a year ago.
“Week 1, we had a pretty good day when we played against the Browns with our passing game,” Jackson said. “It was nothing being said about it. Since we’re not progressing I guess from that week, people got second guesses going on. I feel we’re going to be good. It’s still early in the season and we’re going to strive for greater as the season goes on.”