Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco No Longer the Only Option


May 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) speaks after the OTA at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco has never missed a start since he entered the NFL in 2008. He has made 127 consecutive starts including the postseason.

He just turned 30 years old and shouldn’t miss a start this season. He’s in a “mini-contract” year as described by columnist John Eisenberg. His contract is expected to be restructured as he heads into the halfway mark in his current contract.

As the age questions have begun to be asked, he has shown no wear or shown any sign of being in any less physical shape than in the past. But for the sake of argument, we’ll leave it as a possibility his backup needs to play this season.

In recent seasons, Flacco has had a less-than-stellar quarterback backing him up in Tyrod Taylor. In the little playing time he had, I would not want to see him replacing number five for any reason.

The last time the team had a veteran backup was in 2010 with Marc Bulger. He was the backup for one year before the rookie was drafted in 2011.

However, this year, he has Matt Schaub as his backup. He is entering his 12th season in the NFL, which he previously spent with the Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons.

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He’s thrown for more than 24,000 yards in his career, surpassing 4,000 three times in a four-year span with Houston. He’s thrown 20+ touchdowns three times and has never thrown more than 15 interceptions in a season.

He is a quarterback the Ravens do not have to be afraid of taking center for Flacco. And it is this reason I believe he needs to have a good season. Not only does he have contract negotiations approaching, but also he has a proven quarterback behind him.

Flacco is the starter without question, and Schaub is the backup. However, with a veteran backup, the former University of Delaware quarterback doesn’t have ultimate security. If he has a poor stretch where the offense struggles, the Ravens could put in the backup without worrying about losing any talent.

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A struggling Flacco is better than Taylor any day, but not so much with the new backup. I am not saying it could happen, but the coaches have the option now. I cannot think they ever thought the sixth-round pick could carry the team if number five couldn’t.

What happened the last time the starting quarterback had to worry about a new contract? He led the team to the Super Bowl with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions with a 117 QB rating in the postseason.

While it is fun to look at this possibility, Flacco has shown no signs of slowing down and could be looking at his best season yet. Schaub is just going to have to sit on the bench and watch it happen. He gives the Ravens security behind the starter, but the chance he plays at all is slim.

Next: Baltimore Ravens Keeping an Eye on Evan Mathis