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Ravens Bank on Flacco’s Good Health

Lombardi's Way Ravens Bank on Flacco’s Good Health

Posted in Lombardi's Way

Joe Flacco has played in 93 consecutive games in the NFL. In fact the last game that he missed was back during his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004.

To say the least Flacco is durable and his toughness is understated. During his 5 year career the Super Bowl XLVII MVP has been sacked 180 times in regular season play, once every 15 times he drops back to throw. And while this may seem like a lot, it is pretty close to being the league average during that time.

Ben Roethlisberger has hit the turf 221 times over the same 5 year span. The Steelers’ signal caller, generally considered to be a tough player, is sacked once every 12 times he attempts to throw. Those painful thumps have sidelined Roethlisberger for 8 games since the start of the 2008 season.

We’ve seen just how much less threatening a team the Steelers are without Roethlisberger. Fortunately the Ravens haven’t been faced with similar adversity.

But what if they are challenged by a Flacco injury?

Are the Ravens prepared?

Can Tyrod Taylor guide the team for a game here and there if and when Flacco is forced to the sidelines to mend?

What if the former Hokie has to lead for an extended period of time?

Taylor is an exceptional athlete and clearly capable of making big plays. But one would think that offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell would have to flip his playbook upside down to accommodate and fully utilize the skill set of Taylor. He and Flacco could not be more polar opposites from a physical tools perspective.

Everyone would be forced to adjust.

The offensive line may change their blocking schemes to create throwing lanes for the diminutive Taylor. Perhaps his drops are quicker than Flacco’s and that could disrupt timing with the receivers.

The potential adjustments are many and with those adjustments the chances for error increase.

But if the Ravens had a capable back up more like Flacco in style, the adjustments would be fewer and the margin for error less. This isn’t meant as an indictment of Taylor but more a criticism of having such a backup so vastly different than the starter.

If the Ravens are lucky, the topic will continue to be the non-issue it has been over the past five seasons.

And then maybe we can start calling Flacco the Ravens answer to Cal Ripken, Jr.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony on Twitter @RussellStReport. More from Tony Lombardi
6 comments
kevin kelly
kevin kelly

I pray for the good heaith of joe's unborn baby,his missus,and their son.

JerryB
JerryB

Often overlooked in the QB controversy surrounding Flacco's standing as a QB, is his durability. However, in the event of the need for a backup, this offense favors a traditional "drop back" rather than Tyrod Taylor, who for all his athleticism is reminiscent of former Heisman Trophy winner and Raven backup, Troy Smith. Serviceable backups through the years have distinguished themselves on occasion, like Earl Morrall and Trent Dilfer, but they are unique and hard to find. So, the questions becomes......who you gonna call?!

Mike
Mike

Isn't that usually the idea though? If you have two QBs who are the same, if you game plan for one, you have for both. While if a different style QB has to come into complete a game or start one due to injury it makes it a lot harder on the opposing team. Just look at us against Cousins last year after Griffin went down.

eric
eric

Backup qb's last year: 16-37. Conclusion: nobody has good backups

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

It's not like a pitcher or a change-of-pace running back. A sub-QB who is vastly different requires adjustment, sometimes significant, from everyone on offense.

Ed
Ed

Sorry Eric, that's a faulty conclusion based on the info you gave. You'd need a team-by-team record breakdown to draw that conclusion. That being said, I'm just quibbling. Generally if you lose your starting QB, your playoff chances take a serious hit (depending on when it occurs, etc...)

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