It’s been 13 long weeks Ravens fans. If we as Ravens fans feel like it’s been a long 13 weeks, just imagine how Joe Flacco feels.
The Super Bowl MVP has been sacked 39 times, the second most in the NFL behind only Ryan Tannehill. Carson Palmer, Geno Smith, Andy Dalton, and Eli Manning are the only QB’s to have thrown more interceptions than Joe.
That being said, over the last two games Flacco has completed 67% of his passes compared to the two weeks prior (Chicago and Cincy) when he completed a very un-Joe-like 55%.
It’s no secret this year that Joe Flacco has been fighting an uphill battle all season. Dropped passes, poor offensive line play, ZERO run game, and an overall lack of weapons. Torrey Smith is having a breakout season, totaling 952 yards with a 17.6 average YPC. But aside from Torrey where has the offensive production come from?
Well, that’s where it gets a bit depressing.
We all know the Tandon Doss story at this point. He drops the ball but he knows the Ravens system. That is pretty much the only way to justify his spot on the roster – 18 grabs for just over 300 yards.
How about the geezers?
Brandon Stokley has 12 catches for 113 yards. The only upside to Stokley this season has been of those 12 receptions, 8 of them have been for first downs. Dallas Clark has the second most receiving yards on the team, 343 and 3 touchdowns. In retrospect at Clark’s age he hasn’t been all that bad in the absence of others who have failed to step up.
Dallas Clark has shown some one handed grabs and used his veteran savvy to find the end zone a few times.
The other tight end on the other hand…
Ed Dickson has 16 catches on the season. Yes, you are reading that correctly, in a contract year Dickson has 211 yards on 16 catches. The former Oregon Duck, with all the athleticism in the world, has my vote for MDP (Most Disappointing Player) just barely beating out Michael Oher.
Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown have definitely shown flashes too. Brown leads the team in touchdowns and as a rookie he’s been everywhere the Ravens have wanted him to be. His production has tailed off over the past few weeks but there could be other factors contributing to that as well.
On the opposite end, Jacoby Jones has been heating up, eight receptions in the last two games for 156 yards, drawing some attention away from Torrey Smith.
Yet as limited as Flacco’s options appear there could be a savior in the wings.
When John Harbaugh was asked about Dennis Pitta’s availability today he said, “I think he has a reasonable chance…”
Obviously Pitta’s effect on the team will be limited at first coming off of what many thought would be a season ending hip injury. I’ve heard from other Baltimore media sources that the weather could play a role in Dennis Pitta’s playing time, as there is potential for snow in Baltimore.
Make no mistake about it though, the return of Flacco’s favorite target for a stretch run against Detroit, New England, and the Bengals could be a difference maker. A guy with the ability to haul in 61 receptions for 669 yards and 7 TD’s could be exactly what Joe Flacco, Jim Caldwell, and John Harbaugh have been looking for this entire season.
Last year during the Super Bowl run Joe Flacco completed 73% of his passes to Dennis Pitta. A reliable receiver, who can find space, and move the sticks.
Expectations should be tempered for Pitta in the coming weeks, but at this point, with the Ravens struggles when they cross into the opposition’s territory, this team will take anything they can get.