Ravens set mark with touchdowns on first 12 red zone trips

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens are more than just the only perfect team in the red zone this season.

The Ravens are also NFL record-setters when it comes to reaching the end zone inside the 20-yard line. Baltimore became the first team in league history to score touchdowns on its first 12 red zone trips, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

Quarterback Joe Flacco said the reason why the Ravens have become automatic in the red zone is because teams can't predict what they'll do.

"We've had a good mix," Flacco said. "I think we've probably thrown the ball in six times and run the ball in six times. If you can do both of those things, especially when you get down tight inside the 5-yard line. ... That helps a lot. It takes a lot of pressure off your offense. We've got good playmakers, and we put a lot of pressure on the defense with the guys that we have out there."

Flacco is correct. Through the first three games, Alex Collins, Buck Allen and Kennth Dixon have combined for six touchdown runs, and John Brown, Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, Mark Andrews and Allen have totaled six touchdown catches.

In Sunday's 27-14 win over the Denver Broncos, Baltimore was 3-for-3 in the red zone. Collins scored a 6-yard touchdown run, and Allen crossed the goal line twice (a 12-yard catch and a 1-yard run).

Only three teams are currently converting more than 85 percent of the time in the red zone this season: the Kansas City Chiefs (11-of-12), the Cincinnati Bengals (7-of-8) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-of-7).

It was only a few years ago when the Ravens had been one of the worst teams inside the 20. From 2013 to 2016, Baltimore scored touchdowns 50 percent of the time in the red zone (104-of-208), which ranked No. 30 in the NFL.

The change in the Ravens' red zone fortune dates back to last season. In the past eight games (including three in 2018), Baltimore has scored 26 touchdowns on 32 red zone trips (81 percent).

"Without short-changing the players in any way, I thought some of the plays have been really brilliant," coach John Harbaugh said. "We've had some play-action plays, where some guys have been wide-open, some easy throws, stuff like that."