Open offense gives Ravens championship quality

John Harbaugh has done a few impressive things lately, including quoting Theodore Roosevelt. The other is using the spread formation to get the most out of QB Joe Flacco in the shotgun, a move that might be more geared for the long run.

In the short term, Harbaugh’s decision to spread the field for Flacco has resulted in a 24-point run for the biggest comeback in team history and a 92-yard game-winning drive to silence the Steelers.

“In order to win big in this league, you have to throw the ball and score points,” Jim Mora said on “The Coaches Show” on Monday. “These coaches know that. What you saw in Flacco yesterday was a quarterback, if given the opportunity, who can do that. … Will this create a transformation in how the Ravens play offensive football?”

It’s¬†certainly¬†not the way we’re accustomed to seeing the Ravens win. But NFL Network analyst Brian Billick believes the Ravens’ ability to win by scoring points on Flacco’s arm is the difference between winning games the old way down the stretch and winning in the playoffs.

“They want to win the way they’ve always won,” Billick said. “But (Harbaugh) recognizes going forward the more of this they have to do, the better off they’ll be as a team going into the playoffs when Joe Flacco may very well have to get into the gun and spread it out for them to win a championship.”

Harbaugh has the right to go there and call out Flacco’s critics, and he obviously enjoyed it. But had he known how fired up the whole passing thing would make him, Harbaugh might have turned to it sooner.

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