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Coach John Harbaugh says Ravens shouldn't have abandoned run so early vs. Texans

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
'We could have stayed with the run a little more patiently' Harbaugh said Monday. (US Presswire)

The Ravens head into their bye with a 5-2 record and hold a 1.5-game lead over the Steelers. There are worst predicaments to find yourself in eight weeks into the season. But this team isn't without problems -- huge ones -- mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The easiest way to mitigate those problems -- and take pressure of quarterback Joe Flacco -- is to feed the ball to Ray Rice.

This may sound familiar because it came up plenty last season too.

On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh admitted that they went away from Rice too early in Sunday's blowout loss to the Texans.

“We could have stayed with the run a little more patiently,” he said via the Baltimore Sun. “Once they got the tip-ball interception, we felt like we needed to try to get back in that thing a little bit more quickly because of the type of team they are. We probably all say we could have been a little bit more patient with the run – whether it's Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce or whoever it is.”

Rice ended the day with nine carries for 42 yards. Here's a breakdown of those touches (the score is in parentheses):

1st quarter, first drive (0-0)
13:38 - 8 yards
13:17 - 2 yards
12:10 - 17 yards

1st quarter, fourth drive (9-0, Texans)
00:22 - 3 yards

2nd quarter, fifth drive (9-0, Texans)
14:51 - 4 yards
14:19 - 1 yard

3rd quarter, 10th drive (29-3, Texans)
14:54 - 1 yard

3rd quarter, 11th drive (29-3, Texans)
11:18 - 6 yards

3rd quarter, 12th drive (36-10, Texans)
2:20 - no gain

The "tip-ball interception" Harbaugh mentioned came on the first play of the second quarter. The Ravens ran Rice twice on the next drive before deciding that chucking it all over the yard gave them the best chance to win.

Harbaugh's most recent comments come five weeks after he said it was "fair" to question the offensive playcalling following the Ravens loss to the Eagles.

“We thought about running the ball, yeah, but we thought we had some good calls,” Harbaugh said afterward the game according to USAToday.com's Robert Klemko. “I think that's fair. You could have called a draw or something there, but you know they were bringing some heat, and they were hugging the backs, too. It would have been hit or miss. I think that's a fair thing to talk about."

If history is any guide, this won't be the last time Harbaugh has this conversation.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

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