“Obviously, Joe’s a big part of what we do. He’s our quarterback, he’s our leader. But we’ve got other guys, and we pride ourselves on being pretty balanced on offense,” (Ravens center Matt) Birk said. “So it’s certainly not all on him, and it’s not all on anybody. ... We don’t need anybody to be Superman out there. We just need everybody to do their jobs and take care of their business.”
You need look no further than Baltimore's 29-14 win over Houston in October to see the Ravens' offense running at full efficiency. That afternoon, Baltimore ran the ball 30 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns, passed 33 times for 305 yards and held the ball for more than half the game.
In an ideal world that is exactly what the Ravens want to do -- mingle the old-school elements of their offense with a new-school confidence in their passing attack. Rice finished with 1,364 yards rushing this season, but Baltimore also had five guys (including Rice, the team's leading receiver) haul in 40 or more catches.
It's a balanced approach with the reputation of a smash-mouth attack.
When Baltimore has run its offense like it wants to this season, the results have been fantastic. Whether or not the Ravens can do that Sunday, against a team similarly set in its way, will determine if it's Baltimore or Houston playing in the AFC title game.