This isn’t a question of whether or not Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is an elite NFL quarterback or not, rather is he the guy the Ravens must look to when the outcome of the game is at hand?
I’m here to tell you, not just yet.
Here’s the thing: It’s not entirely Flacco’s fault as to why the Ravens are 3-3, and he’s not the main reason as to why the team have won ugly three times. However, when he has gone over 300 yards passing this season, Baltimore is 0-3. I’m not going to directly correlate that statistic to why the Ravens haven’t been able to win games on Flacco’s shoulders, but that tells me that the team is playing from behind too much and has to deviate from their identity.
And the Ravens can’t be that physical team that relies on the running game, ball control, physical defensive play and solid special teams if they can’t win the battle in the trenches.
Every quarterback is only as good as his supporting cast and the Ravens have struggled at the wide receiver, tight end and offensive line positions thus far during the 2013 season. When it pretty much has been throw the ball to wide receiver Torrey Smith or bust, the offense becomes one-dimensional, limiting creativity and making the jobs for opposing defensive coordinators significantly easier.
Averaging 2.7 yards per carry doesn’t make matters any better.
Keep in mind, the power running game seems to suit the Ravens’ style more than Juan Castillo‘s zone-blocking scheme. Since the Ravens have failed to adopt this new system with success, Baltimore’s ability to run play-action passes has been virtually eliminated. How can a team be creative if the defense knows what’s coming?
Yes, Joe Flacco has won big games for the Ravens in the past, but he isn’t Peyton Manning and he can’t win games based purely on his throwing abilities. He does have the strongest arm and one of the best deep balls in the NFL, but there are 10 other guys around him that aren’t helping as much as they have in the past. It’s a collective effort after all, and while one player can make a game-changing play at any point of an NFL game, Flacco is not in the category of quarterbacks where he can throw the ball 40 and 50 times and expect his team to come out on top. In fact, Flacco is 6-8 all-time when throwing 40 or more passes, so the odds certainly aren’t in Baltimore’s favor.