Joe Flacco’s struggles a major factor in Ravens losses


Oct 26, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to pass during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens fans know the feeling all too well.  Joe Flacco moved the offense down the field with ease on Monday Night Football against a heavily favored Arizona Cardinals squad on the road, victory within reach.  He proceeded to make an ill advised back foot throw over the head of Crockett Gillmore in the end zone, resulting in a game ending interception.

It led to a collective “arrgggh” (at least I presume it did) across Ravens Nation.  And perfectly summarized the entire 2015 season for this team, which seems to be “so close, yet so far away.”  The loss also keeps them in the basement among NFL teams, a place they aren’t used to occupying.

And for Joe Flacco, it warrants some criticism as well.  While he isn’t exactly working with a stellar supporting cast this season, throws like that one just aren’t excusable for a veteran quarterback who is supposed to be among the best in the game.

Flacco currently sports a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 42.0, good enough for 27th among the NFL’s active quarterbacks.  He’s behind guys like Jameis Winston, Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Weeden, and Ryan Mallet.  It’s downright embarassing.

On the surface, things don’t appear all bad.  Flacco is 7th in passing yards (1,857), but fellow single game winner Matthew Stafford is 6th.  Flacco’s completion percentage of 62.7% is good for only the 19th best in the league, and he’s tied for 5th worst with 8 interceptions.

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Flacco’s 9 touchdowns also have him tied for 14th.  Ahead of him are luminaries such as Brian Hoyer, Stafford, Derek Carr, and Blake Bortles.  And he’s managed these weak statistics despite taking only the 19th most sacks among all NFL quarterbacks (11).

Flacco defenders will point to the shaky offensive line, lack of playmakers, and mostly unsuccessful running game as contributors to this season’s struggles.  But Joe Flacco isn’t doing anything to compensate for those issues, and there’s no forgiving poor decision making like what we saw on Monday night.

There’s another quarterback in the NFL that has faced many of the same problems this season, and his play hasn’t wavered.  Despite losing his best receiver and facing a total lack of success in the running game, Aaron Rogers is still dominating on the field.

Now, Flacco is obviously no Rogers, but he simply has to play better, make better decisions on the field, and elevate the play of those around him.  That’s what elite quarterbacks do.

Next: Cheers and jeers for week 7

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