Film breakdown: Joe’s bad day – blame the offensive line

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Joe Flacco is being torn down around Baltimore. I can’t tune in to the radio, turn on my TV, or read the Newspaper without seeing Joe being lambasted. If I took the opinions found on these media as the prevailing thoughts of the majority of Ravens fans than I would be sickened. Fans that may have been “Wacco for Flacco” at some point are now calling Joe stupid, slow, apathetic, and overrated.

Let’s get a few things straight:

Joe Flacco isn’t going anywhere.

Joe Flacco isn’t the only problem with the Ravens right now.

And Joe Flacco and this offense can turn things around this year.

I feel that many of the detractors of Joe Flacco are ill informed and ignorant to the intricacies of offensive football. Even the greatest quarterbacks of all time struggle sometimes when they are under pressure. Joe Flacco was under constant pressure against the Broncos, let’s focus on the first half:

3rd and 8 after a short Ray Rice run and a pressured incompletion.

The Broncos align Miller wide to reroute Pitta and blitz both LBs.

When Flacco hits the top of his drop he is .1 seconds from being plastered and Doss has just begun his break. This would have been a great throw if Flacco could have placed the ball accurately. It takes a great QB to make this play.

On 3rd and ten after two Pierce runs for no gain.

The Broncos utilize a simple four man rush and play 2 Man Under, which entails man coverage underneath with two safeties responsible for each deep half of the field.

Miller easily beats Osemele and Flacco is forced to throw early to a well-covered Pitta.

The throw is good but Pitta was not able to reach the sticks. Pitta should have probably run his route to the first down marker.

On 3rd and 8 after a short pass to Leach and a failed screen to Rice.

The Broncos overload the right side of the line and blitz six defenders and play Man Free behind it, which is man coverage with one deep safety.

In this shot, you can see Flacco and Birk telling the line to slide right and the Ravens have enough to block everyone. Unfortunately Jah Reid has a lapse in judgment and abandons his responsibility, leaving Flacco with a blitzer beating down on him quickly.

Flacco is forced to throw the ball early and off his back foot to Tandon Doss who has his back to Flacco. The passed sailed high.

On 2nd and 8 after a two yard Rice run.

Flacco fakes to Rice and is flushed out of the pocket immediately by Dumervil who beat Oher on an inside move. The Broncos only rushed four.

I think they wanted to hit Torrey deep here but Flacco did not have time to set and launch the ball downfield. Flacco flushed to his right and delivered a pass harmlessly over Boldin’s head. If the pass was on target it was likely to be intercepted.

On the next play, a 3rd and 8, Flacco was given adequate time in the face of a four-man rush and found Dennis Pitta on a skinny post route.

This was a pass that should have been caught. It was a difficult catch, of course, but one that an NFL tight end needs to make. Pitta dropped it.

On 2nd and 7 on the ensuing drive, Flacco was given a clean pocket against a four-man rush and he delivered a dime to Jacoby Jones.

We all know how this drive ended. The pick-six that sealed the Ravens fate was the worst throw of Joe Flacco’s career. It was boneheaded and Flacco knows it but he rarely turns the ball over in the red zone. I won’t judge Joe Flacco off that one play.

I’m begging you Ravens fans. Think before you speak. Do not take this Quarterback for granted. He has shown us what he is capable of ,but the offensive line is struggling mightily right now and the inability to run effectively on early downs is putting Flacco in tough situations on 3rd down.

Joe Flacco is still my Quarterback, what about you?

5 Raves on “Film breakdown: Joe’s bad day – blame the offensive line

  1. Ravcolt on said:

    The O line is lousy, and impacts Flacco’s thinking and execution. But it cannot explain his QB sneak fumble or pick 6. These were errors of concentration, which is unacceptable – especially at QB.

  2. Bob from Elkton on said:

    Nice try to convert some of the block heads that think it is all Joe’s fault. He is doing his best considering the turnstile at left tackle and guard right now. We need Mckinnie at left and Marshall back at right quard and put blind side back on the right where he seems to do pretty good. Thanks for the article…good stuff!

  3. steve on said:

    thanks for the FULL detail explanation.TOO many knuckleheads try to make Joe the goat…Cam WAS a big problem with the players.While Joe isn’t Brady or Peyton, he’s pretty damn good. Flacco is staying, to all you nay Sayers

  4. Joe B. on said:

    Agree 100

    Agree 100

    Agree 100%. The thing that worries me about Joe is the turnovers (fumbles). He needs to hang onto the ball better. Interceptions are going to happen in the NFL with the quickness of the pass defenders and a weak O-line. Joe is and has been my guy. Won’t be jumpin’ the ship now. What can the R’s do to quicken the pace on offense? By that I mean short passes over the middle, etc.

  5. Joe K. on said:

    Joe Flacco is currently ranked at 28th in Total QBR so I find it hard to get excited about the fact that he will be our QB for the next few years. He has a lot of work to do to get better…yet he already believes he is “elite.”. Hopefully, he will put in the work to get to where he needs to be…at least middle of the pack.

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