The Baltimore Ravens gave Joe Flacco a brand new contract this past offseason, as we all know. Many believe Flacco has to carry this team during their transition, and I agree. But the Ravens shouldn’t force the issue, and the Ravens must remember their history on defense.
Yes, the drops so far by the Ravens’ receivers, and tight ends are not Flacco’s fault. Yes, the offensive line isn’t performing the way it should, and that isn’t Flacco’s fault either. But deal with it. No matter what anyone says, positive or negative, Flacco has to perform.
Is the reason why Flacco has to perform well this year is to validate his contract? No, Flacco has to perform because if the Ravens want to repeat as Super Bowl champions, Flacco is going to have to be the main reason for it as the team will most likely go up against elite quarterbacks. Flacco has to understand when to accelerate and when to take his foot off the gas in the best interest of winning. It’s tough. In the Ravens’ philosophy, the quarterback isn’t asked to put up pro bowl numbers, but be efficient because the Ravens’ defense needs rest too.
The Ravens are a defense-first team at the end of the day. Usually when people hear a team being defense-first, they tend to believe that is because their quarterback isn’t that good. But Flacco is that good, and the reason why the Ravens put so much emphasis on their defense is because they have common sense, and they understand that there is more to the game than just quarterback play.
But at the same time, there are occasions during a game where I feel like the Ravens press the issue with Flacco by having him throw more times than he should. I don’t say that because I think he isn’t capable of being a productive passer, I hold Flacco in very high regard. But it almost seems like the team wants to show off Flacco to prove the naysayers wrong; I don’t agree with that.
Entering this new era, the Ravens have to find a good balance in terms of what is fair for the offense, and the defense. I think they will find it.