Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco Needs to Get Back on Track

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Quarterback Joe Flacco
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Quarterback Joe Flacco /

The Baltimore Ravens loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week shows that, if this team wants to start winning, Joe Flacco needs to get back on track.

The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week 26-9, and while there’s plenty of blame to go around for the awful loss, a fair bit of that falls on the shoulders of quarterback Joe Flacco, because he just looked bad out there.

Flacco finished the game completing 31 of 49 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The Ravens looked pretty bad all around, but it was on offense that they really struggled.

Now, part of the reason for Flacco’s struggles was the fact that the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive line was being absolutely dominated by the Steelers for essentially the entire game. Flacco doesn’t perform particularly well under constant pressure, and he made some bad decisions.

pass_chart_FLA009602_2017_reg_4_1506890948224 /

You can see from the above chart that Flacco was constantly throwing short. He only threw one pass beyond 20 yards (which was incomplete) and two passes beyond 15 yards. In fact, the vast majority of his passes were less than 10 yards. Flacco’s strength is his arm, and if he’s never throwing deep, his success is going to be limited.

There was also some pretty bad decision making on Flacco’s part, especially with the two interceptions. On the first one, Flacco ran a play-action bootleg trying to lob a pass to tight end Benjamin Watson running a flat route. The pass was poorly thrown and Ryan Shazier snagged it for an interception.

On the next interception, the Baltimore Ravens were faced with 4th & 12 and Flacco made the decision to try and throw a pass to Michael Campanaro who was very much covered. The throw was way off the mark and after it was tipped, it was intercepted by Mike Hilton.

This makes Flacco’s 10th-straight game with at least one interception, the longest active streak in the NFL, and if the Baltimore Ravens want to get back to winning games, avoiding turnovers will be key to that.

There’s plenty of other issues the Ravens had, their defense looked rough, Marlon Humphery, in particular, looked outmatched more often than not, the offensive line was awful and the running game looked pedestrian, with only Alex Collins providing any kind of burst (and he fumbled the ball).

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The Ravens are better than this, they showed it in their first two games of the year against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, but against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Steelers, they’ve looked pretty pitiful, and some of that blame lies with Joe Flacco and his poor decision-making. Hopefully, he fixes that next week against the Oakland Raiders.