Flacco and Hyde: Why Ravens’ Joe Flacco is terrible on the road
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is having one of the best seasons of his career, but his passing performances on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are not anything to celebrate. Flacco completed 52.4% or less of his passes in road games in 2012, compared to home games, where he completed 60.9% or better. The only thing that matters in the NFL is wins of course, but the road game against Philadelphia cost the Ravens a win, they barely got past the Kansas City Chiefs and the Ravens were embarrassed by the Houston Texans. What is causing Joe Flacco to develop a Jekyll and Hyde persona? The answer is rather boring and that is the fact, that the Chiefs, Texans and the Eagles are good pass defense teams.
The Philadelphia Eagles were 9th against the pass in 2012 this season with cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie when the Ravens faced them. The Kansas City Chiefs were 8th in pass defense in 2012 with underrated cornerbacks like Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt and former Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry against the Ravens that week. The Houston Texans are also 8th in pass defense currently. The previous teams the Ravens faced at home were the 28th ranked pass defense New England Patriots, 17th ranked pass defense Cincinnati Bengals, 30th ranked pass defense Cleveland Browns and 2nd ranked Dallas Cowboys.
All of this information proves a couple of things. Joe Flacco is terrible on the road, because of some weird mojo. However it also proves that Flacco is not the type of quarterback that can elevate his team over tough pass defenses. Flacco did well against the Dallas Cowboys, but other than that victory Flacco’s passer rating has been pretty consistent with the pass defenses he has faced.
Cincinnati Bengals: 17th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 128.4
Philadelphia Eagles: 15th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 66.8
New England Patriots: 28th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 117.7
Cleveland Browns: 30th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 83.2
Kansas City Chiefs: 13th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 55.6
Dallas Cowboys: 2nd ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 106.9
Houston Texans: 8th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 45.4
Besides a few hitches, Joe Flacco hasn’t shown to emerge as the type of quarterback to make tough pass defenses look bad. It doesn’t make Flacco a bad quarterback, but is he really worth the big fat paycheck he is expected to receive after the 2012 season when his contract expires? This type of information can keep some Raven fans up at night, because of the issues the Ravens defense has had this season. A unit with a storied history is beginning to show its age in a bad way. Flacco will have to lead this team to victories in the Playoffs this season and that is a scary thought with the information just presented.
There is still a lot more football to play and of course Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith aren’t exactly the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL. However Joe Flacco is supposed to be showing the Ravens he is the type of quarterback that can elevate his teammates over certain opponents. Flacco hasn’t shown he can do that yet and that will always be a question mark over his career for some time.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.