Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Ravens' Joe Flacco
By Jamison Hensley
A weekly examination of the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback play:
Rewind: It was a forgettable game in terms of statistics: 19-of-32 for 269 yards and one interception. What the numbers don't measure is Joe Flacco's tenacity. He was hit and pressured so much by Miami that he rarely had the time or space in the pocket to step up and finish his throws. On the interception returned for a touchdown, Flacco was hit from behind by rookie Dion Jordan, who beat left tackle Bryant McKinnie. About 6 minutes later, Flacco threw a 14-yard pass to Torrey Smith to set up the game-winning field goal.
Fast-forward: Flacco revisits one of the worst games of his career when the Green Bay Packers come to Baltimore. In a 27-14 loss in Green Bay four years ago, Flacco threw three interceptions, including a costly one at the Green Bay 3 in the fourth quarter. This time, he'll be facing a Green Bay pass defense that ranks No. 26 in the NFL and is without its top pass-rusher in Clay Matthews.
Dominating the NFC: Flacco has been much better at home than on the road in his career, and he's nearly flawless when it comes to playing the NFC at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. In 10 home games against the NFC, Flacco is undefeated, completing 62 percent of his throws (179-of-287) for 2,282 yards. He has a 101.4 passer rating with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Prediction: The Ravens are getting healthy at wide receiver, and the offensive line catches a break with Matthews being out. All signs point to Flacco breaking out in this game. Quarterbacks have averaged a 107.2 passer rating against the Packers, throwing nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Knowing how well Flacco plays at home, it wouldn't be a surprise if he cracks 300 yards passing.