Left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who had struggled for most of the season, and Michael Oher (right) are a big part of a revamped Ravens offensive line that is making life a whole lot easier for quarterback Joe Flacco. (Reuters)
The Baltimore Ravens’ Achilles Heel is suddenly kicking butt.
It is true that Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce looked nifty rambling for 173 combined yards in the team’s two playoff wins. Credit Joe Flacco for finding an open receiver in the nick of time to beat Denver.
But perhaps the biggest reason that Ray Lewis is still dancing has been the evolution of the offensive line. It has had more issues this season than a Dr. Phil episode.
Throughout the regular schedule it yielded 38 sacks, not to mention the hits Flacco took after releasing the ball.
Bryant McKinnie was supposed to be so unpredictable as a run blocker, and ill-suited in pass protection, that he spent much of the season on the sideline. But, against Denver, he made Elvis Dumerville a non-factor. Who knew?
The team that beat the Broncos last week did not look at all like the one that lost to the Broncos 34-17 on Dec. 16.