Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco was surgical on Monday Night Football, as he led the Ravens to a 44-13 dismantling of the Cincinnati Bengals. Flacco was rewarded Wednesday with the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award.
Flacco shredded the Bengals to the tune of 21-for-29, 299 yards and 2 touchdowns, while committing no turnovers. His passer rating of 128.4 was second in the AFC, only surpassed by the 129.2 recorded by Peyton Manning. The 299 yards passing by Flacco was also second in the AFC, as Andrew Luck was the only AFC passer that threw for over 300 yards as he threw for 309 yards.
The statistic that really jumps off the page was Flacco’s 10.3 yards-per-completion, tops in the AFC. That total was only surpassed by Robert Griffin III and Tony Romo.
Flacco led six drives that resulted in points, five of which started in Ravens’ territory. Before Flacco was lifted from the game, only two Ravens’ drives resulted in no points, with one of those drives being a kneel-down just before halftime.
Many people expected Flacco to take the next step and go from a “game-manager” to an elite quarterback this season, and the way he picked apart the Bengals ninth-ranked pass defense from last season did nothing to squash all the optimism.
Flacco is also in a contract year, so that’s another reason to expect his best offensive output in his five-year NFL career. Flacco’s quiet, composed demeanor has also been his approach to his potential contract negotiations. Flacco has often said his play will do his talking for him, which is a breath of fresh air when you consider how many other players have handled their contract negotiations. Whether it be vocal pining or a much-publicized holdout, the way Flacco is conducting himself can only help his case as he tries to lock up a lucrative long-term deal.
It’s only one week, but if Flacco can keep this consistency, he will keep increasing how much he will get when it comes time to negotiate. It also doesn’t hurt when your coach has your back, as John Harbaugh simply said, “Pay the man,” in Monday’s post game press conference.
Flacco will look to keep his hot hand going on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, as he returns to play in the city that he grew up just nine miles from. Expect more fireworks from Flacco as he makes his homecoming this weekend against a Philadelphia Eagles team that looked uninspired and overrated last week against the Cleveland Browns.