Flacco Continues Playoff Run—ATS Analysis versus Steelers
It’s difficult for folks outside of Baltimore to appreciate Joe Flacco.
In general, fans like to evaluate regular-season statistics and treat post-season performance with an asterisk, which shouldn’t really count towards his totals. I’d argue it should count much more in the evaluation of a QB and not just in count of rings.
Similar discounting is applied to the 2000 Ravens’ defense, because they had an easy regular-season schedule. That ignores the fact that their period of greatest dominance was their buzz-saw playoff run with 16 defensive points allowed over 4 games.
Flacco has now put together a 9-game playoff stretch since 2010 with 20 TDs and 2 interceptions. He’s done so despite being sacked 28 times in those games.
If Flacco wins the Super Bowl with this team, the Hall of Fame discussion can begin in earnest. He’ll have most of the foreground scenery:
• 2 rings, including at least 1 SB MVP
• 9 road playoff wins, more than double the closest competitor (4)
• A long consecutive-games streak to start his career
He’ll have years to add the longevity totals to his resume, even if he never wins another playoff game.
On Saturday against the Steelers, Flacco had ample time and space (ATS) on just 12 of 30 drop backs (40%). The OL gave up some significant pressure, but just 1 sack. Joe was effective regardless of the pressure. Summarized:
Relative to expectation:
Contributing to the fine actual-to-expected result were:
• Steve Smith’s fine catch for 40 yards (Q3, 7:38) through the hands of McCain
• No drops as I have it scored
• Solid YAC from TEs Daniels and Gilmore
• Outstanding accuracy on the move
• A big block from KO (flattened Harrison) on the TD pass to Torrey Smith (Q3, 4:21)
Missing from the numbers above is the 32-yard pass interference drawn on Blake (Q3, 12:31). Joe gets a lot of long PI calls because he has (primarily) Torrey Smith to outrace opposing cornerbacks and leap to find the football at its highest point. Opposing fan bases pout, but other teams have no real answer for Flacco’s deep ball.
Perhaps more impressive (and necessary to the Ravens’ 20-point outburst in the 2nd half), was the fact that Forsett had 6 carries for 41 yards in the first half and 10 carries for -5 yards in the 2nd half.