The key to the playoffs relies in certain key stats being met. Should the following stats be met, Baltimore should be able to obtain a playoff berth.
The Baltimore Ravens haven’t made the post-season since 2014 and it’s not hard to see why. Between a mountain of injuries and offensive inadequacies, the team has even struggled to stay above .500 in the win-column. So, if the team wants to revisit the playoffs in 2018, there is a list of chores the team needs to accomplish.
The criteria is rather simple, but it is still something Baltimore is consistently falling short of meeting. It hurts as fans to watch our home team consistently failing to meet our expectations, but thankfully I have a formula for a Ravens playoff berth in 2018.
It’s a short and simple list, but the following are all criteria the team needs to meet in 2018 if they want any shot at the post-season. Without further ado, let’s address the obvious elephant in the room…
Joe Flacco’s passer rating:
Everything will eventually circle back to how well your quarterback plays. There are no exceptions for any teams, and this will especially ring true for Baltimore. Short of a historic defense taking the field in 2018 accompanied with a dominant run game, it’s fair to say the Ravens will only go as far as Joe Flacco can take them.
Since being drafted in 2008, Flacco has just two seasons with a passer rating above 90.0. Non-coincidentally, the Ravens made the playoffs both seasons. But since 2014, when Flacco had his best statistical season, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs. It just so happens that Joe Flacco’s high in QBR since then has been 83.5.
A lot of factors go in to calculating a quarterback’s passer rating, to include completion percentage, touchdowns-to-interceptions, yards-per-attempt (YPA), and so on. The stats we just mentioned are all areas where Flacco needs improvement. And this isn’t to say we need Flacco to be a Pro Bowler and lead the league in all these categories. All we need is for him to improve in most of these stats.
Flacco’s completion percentage is hovering around ~64.0% since 2015, so that’s not the issue. The Ravens need Flacco to stop checking down so much and get his YPA up. The Ravens have made the playoffs just once (2011) when Flacco has under 7.0 YPA. With a league worst 5.7 YPA in 2017, it’s fair to say this needs to improve. Do all of this, and tack on a few more touchdowns and a few less interceptions, and the Ravens have a recipe for success offensively to earn a playoff berth.