The Baltimore Ravens have never been known as an explosive, high-scoring team. Even so, their offensive production so far this season -- 30 points in three games -- has been meager.
The Ravens (1-2) have scored three touchdowns in three games this season, and none have come in the first half. Of the Ravens' 40 drives this season, six have resulted in points (an additional three ended with missed field goals).
"We want to score more points," Coach Brian Billick said at his weekly news conference. "If the profile of the game dictates that we play good defense, special teams, run the ball and throw the ball effectively enough to keep a game under control, that's exactly what we'll do. Yes, we'd like to score more points. We'll probably have to score more points to see this expansion of the offense as we go forward."
Baltimore's next three games come against Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago (a combined 3-6), and they give the Ravens a chance to establish their offensive identity before the schedule takes a nasty turn. At the end of October, the Ravens embark on a five-game stretch that includes two games each against AFC North Division rivals Cincinnati (4-0) and Pittsburgh (2-1).
The Ravens relied on their running game to control the ball in Sunday's 13-3 win over the New York Jets, but running back Jamal Lewis has yet to have a breakout game. He is averaging 2.5 yards per carry, well under his career average of 4.6 yards. Against the Jets, he ground out three- and four-yard gains and finished with 81 yards on 29 carries. His longest run -- nine yards -- came just before the two-minute warning at the end of the game.
"He left some yards on the field [against New York], and he knows that," Billick said. "I think -- both physically and from a rhythm standpoint -- we can be very optimistic that he's up and running."
Completion percentage has been a point of emphasis for the Ravens, and quarterback Anthony Wright did well from that standpoint against the Jets, completing 71 percent of his passes (15 for 21). He connected on the three passes he attempted during the Ravens' 71-yard touchdown drive and also converted a fourth down by picking up two yards on a quarterback sneak.
"The quarterback's completion percentage -- even in the first two weeks -- is pretty good," Billick said. "That should lead to more productivity."
The Ravens had three pass plays of 20 yards or longer, including a 32-yard, third-down catch by wide receiver Derrick Mason (in which he picked up an additional 14 yards or so after the reception) and a 24-yard catch by tight end Todd Heap that helped set up Baltimore's only touchdown. In the Ravens' first two games, they had a total of four pass plays of 20 yards or longer.
Mason, who was signed as a free agent during the offseason, and Heap have combined for 34 catches and 346 yards. The Ravens are looking for another receiver to complement them.
Rookie Mark Clayton, Baltimore's first-round draft pick, started on Sunday in place of second-year wide receiver Clarence Moore, who dropped more balls than he caught in the first two games. Clayton had one catch for four yards, but he also had one drop on third down. Both are weapons, Moore because of his height (he's 6 feet 6) and Clayton because of his explosiveness after the catch.
"We need a consistency there," Billick said. "We've got to continue to find ways to get the ball in Mark's hands, which we'll do. It's not bad having Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, run the ball well. But to have another presence that people have to account for on the back side, with some consistency that the quarterbacks can rely on, that's the next step for us."
Ravens Notes: Defensive end Anthony Weaver, who was injured in the third quarter against the Jets, likely will be sidelined for four weeks with a dislocated toe on his right foot, according to Billick. Jarret Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2003, will fill in for Weaver. . . .
Quarterback Kyle Boller's right foot was removed on Monday from the cast he's worn for the past two weeks. Boller, who hyperextended his big toe, has begun what Billick described as "an aggressive rehab," and the team is hopeful he will be healthy enough to serve as the third quarterback when the Ravens host Cleveland on Oct. 16.
The toe "is obviously sore and sensitive, as to be anticipated," Billick said. "He will be aggressively stretching and building up the toe, the ankle, the muscles in the ankle and the leg, having been in a cast for two weeks. Right now everything seems to be on schedule." . . .
Both Weaver and Boller injured their toes on the artificial surface at M&T Bank Stadium. Last year, cornerback Deion Sanders injured his foot while playing on the Sportexe Momentum turf. Billick, however, doesn't think there is a connection between the injuries and the playing surface.
"Kyle's, for instance, would've happened in a swimming pool. The way that thing got pinned and turned had nothing to do with the turf whatsoever," Billick said. "What we're examining very closely, quite frankly, are the shoes. The players all want, just like the padding, as little a shoe, as light a shoe, as fast a shoe as they can get. But the shoe also is a very strong support mechanism for the foot."