A Healthy Offensive Line Is The Key to Ravens Success
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The Ravens offense hasn’t been in the top ten since 2014, and Gary Kubiak has since left for the Denver Broncos. Since that year, the Ravens offense has been maligned with inconsistent quarterback play, under-performing wide receivers, and a vanilla offensive scheme. The offensive line, however, has been the most consistent over the last five seasons since 2012, ranking in the top ten in three of the last five seasons. The unseen problem that seems to be emerging for the Ravens is what happens if one of the starters gets hurt?
LT Ronnie Stanley (3rd year), LG Alex Smith (3rd year), C Matt Skura (3rd year), RG Marshal Yanda (12th year) and RT Orlando Brown Jr (Rookie) currently make up the starting offensive line for the Ravens. The problem is that the depth on the offensive line isn’t what it used to be. In the Hall Of Fame game against the Chicago Bears, the backup offensive linemen gave up 8 sacks to the Bears’ second and third-string defensive squad. Alex Smith has been much maligned with injuries his last two seasons after spraining his ankle in 2016, missing six games and then suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery in 2017, which later forced him to miss the entire season. Marshal Yanda broke his ankle in 2017 and then it was later revealed that he had surgery on his shoulder in the offseason.
Matt Skura is unproven at the center position, while Orlando Brown is in his rookie year and is trying to prove the critics wrong after his poor performance at the scouting combine. An injury to any members of the starting line unit will be problematic, as there are no current solid replacements behind them on the depth chart. This, unfortunately, has become a regular occurrence for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are one of those squads that can not afford injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
However, Baltimore has stayed healthy going into their third of five total preseason games this year, and that is a positive sign for at least the first half of the season. Teams throughout the season will lose guys by suspension or injury, and the Ravens know that better than anyone. Can they develop Nico Siragusa and Jarmaine Eluemenor to be solid replacements for a few weeks, or even the whole year? The Ravens will have injuries this year, as do all teams, but can the offense and Joe Flacco will themselves into the playoffs?
About The Author
Born and raised in Baltimore, graduate of Woodlawn High school and graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Avid Orioles and Ravens fan since day 1 and just all around sports junkie. I’ve been writing articles for 2 years now and I also host my podcast “Live from the hammock” on Facebook and Youtube during the NFL season. Follow me for all things Ravens and Orioles and my articles on Instagram (agent_beige) and Twitter (@miwelsthegreat).