Wednesday, October 2, 2013
QB Watch: Ravens' Joe Flacco
By Jamison Hensley
A weekly examination of the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback play:
Rewind: Joe Flacco threw five interceptions, the most in his 97-game career (including playoffs). Three were his fault. He didn't see a defender on two of them, and another was an underthrown pass in the end zone. Not a surprise that Flacco's turnovers played a major factor. Three of them were converted into 13 points, which is huge in a game decided by a field goal. His last interception essentially ended the game. Flacco struggled throwing the ball deep, going 4-for-14 on passes of more than 15 yards. He also struggled on the shorter passes, throwing four interceptions on passes that traveled fewer than 15 yards.
Fast-forward: Flacco looks to bounce back in Sunday's game at Miami, which has the 25th-ranked pass defense. The question is whether Flacco will have time to throw the ball downfield. He was hit 12 times against Buffalo and sacked four times. Flacco and the Ravens would catch a break if Cameron Wake, the Dolphins' top pass-rusher, can't play. He missed Monday night's game with a sprained knee.
Bumpy road: The challenge for Flacco is improving on the road. After a playoff run in which he won at Denver and at New England, Flacco has failed to have the same success away from home this season. His 22.8 Total QBR on the road is only better than Chad Henne's, Eli Manning's and Geno Smith's this season. Flacco's seven interceptions on the road is two more than any other quarterback in 2013.
Prediction: No one expects Flacco to rip the Dolphins' defense like Drew Brees did Monday night. But Flacco has a good history of bouncing back after poor performances. I would be surprised if Flacco didn't have an efficient performance while throwing between 230 and 250 yards.