In 2012, Joe Flacco only threw 10 interceptions all season – none during the playoffs.
Already, Flacco has started Week 1 with two interceptions, after throwing four interceptions during the preseason. This is a trend Flacco wants to stop. However, it won’t be easy.
One issue is the chemistry that Flacco is trying to build with new receivers like Marlon Brown, Brandon Stokley, and Dallas Clark. Flacco had tremendous trust in Anquan Boldin (traded) and Dennis Pitta (injured), having a sixth-sense anticipating their timing and reaction on routes. Flacco is still learning his new receivers, and coach John Harbaugh said it may take time for the Ravens’ passing game to evolve.
“It’s obviously something to be concerned about,” Harbaugh said, referring to Flacco’s interceptions. “The routes, and Joe being on the same page in terms of the way the route’s going to be run. We’re not there yet 100 percent on those things.”
Another issue is the separation, or lack of separation, that Ravens’ receivers are getting when running routes. Boldin and Pitta were terrific last season at catching balls in traffic. However, Torrey Smith is receiving more attention from opposing defenses, and neither Clark nor Stokley are speed merchants. Flacco may face more situations where he feels compelled to throw into tighter windows. That could lead to more interceptions, especially when Flacco makes poor decisions or inaccurate throws.
Flacco has never thrown more than 12 interceptions in any of his five seasons. Even if he plays well, expect that interception number to increase this season.
Morning thought: “There’s nobody here who didn’t want Anquan back. It was a business decision both ways. It was definitely disappointing that it went the way it did, but I’m happy for his success and looking forward to our success as well.” ~ John Harbaugh, talking about the Ravens’ controversial decision to trade Boldin to the 49ers.