Joe Flacco looked sharp in limited preseason action
Joe Flacco looked sharp against the Los Angeles Rams:
The Ravens elected to get Joe Flacco and their starters some work on the field against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams didn’t play their starters, but the experience was important for Flacco nonetheless. Flacco missed the preseason last year with a back injury and he started the regular season roughly. For Flacco, this game was about getting off to a good start in the preseason. The Ravens want Flacco to go into the season with some momentum.
It was also the first chance for Flacco to throw to his new receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Hayden Hurst in an actual game. The Ravens offense has gone through a lot of changes this offseason. The offense needs time to gel, so getting the starters a drive with Flacco wasn’t a bad idea.
Flacco started the game with a quick strike to Hayden Hurst, for a first down over the middle of the field. Flacco stepped into the throw and delivered a bullet to the rookie tight end. When the Ravens faced their first third down, Flacco fired a dart to Buck Allen out of the backfield. He threw it right on time so Allen could secure the ball, before being met by a defender.
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The first down play was a play-action pass that the Rams weren’t buying for a second. Flacco saw the outside rush, stepped back into the pocket and threw a good pass to Crabtree. Crabtree couldn’t come up with it, but the way Flacco moved on the play was something we haven’t seen for a while from Flacco.
After a penalty, backed the Ravens up, Flacco found John Brown for for a 17 yard gain. Two things stand out on this throw. First, it was a quick release, that wasn’t a check down, which isn’t exactly vintage Flacco. Secondly, Brown was able to catch the ball and do something with it. It was a perfectly timed throw. Then it was time for Flacco to find Crabtree for a big gain.
Flacco rolled out of the pocket, and Crabtree extended his route down the sideline for a 30 yard reception. It was an absolute thing of beauty. It felt like a sign of things to come. Flacco and Crabtree could be a very potent combination. A few plays later, Flacco found Pat Ricard for a touchdown on a play-action pass that looked easy.
Flacco looked sharp. He played with better mechanics than he has in a long time. His throws weren’t late and he didn’t seem interested in check downs. Flacco looked absolutely prepared for that moment. Despite playing against backups, the touchdown drive was a very positive sign for the Ravens.