Baltimore Ravens fans are starting to grow impatient, waiting for Joe Flacco to throw the deep ball more.
Last year, Flacco used his powerful right arm on a regular basis. It became the norm in Baltimore — Flacco would perform a 3-5 step drop, wait for a second and let ‘er rip. This year however, Flacco seems very timid with the shots he takes downfield and his team is suffering because of it. Sure, one could argue that he is passing more, but these attempts are intermediate passes that are well covered and end up being incomplete or intercepted for one reason or another.
How can you have the strongest arm in the league and be afraid to use it? I say this because if you watched the embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, you will see Flacco attempting to use intermediate passes to both Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones – both fell short of the mark. Had he actually trusted in his receivers’ speed and put more on those passes, they would have been completions and we might just be talking about a 4-4 record instead 3-5.
I admit that in the past, I would rant on about how Flacco would just launch it up and Derrick Mason or Mark Clayton would have to go and locate the ball. I even referred to Joe as all arm and no accuracy. Well, the team needs him to return to his ways of old. Flacco must stop reserving the cannon.
Flacco’s deep ball is a weapon that’s not used enough this season. With speedy receivers such as Smith, Jones and Deonte Thompson, I imagined they would already be slinging it deep. Instead, we see Flacco trying to find the middle of the field, not hitting receivers in stride and simply veering away from the deep ball. Baltimore can now push the panic button on the 2013 season and that means not holding back.
The time for change is now. John Harbaugh needs to light a fire under Jim Caldwell’s derriere and for him to incorporate more deep shots down the sideline into the game plan.
I am not saying that Flacco should throw more passes because we see what happens when he throws 41 times in game. I am just saying that he should take more chances on the go-route and trust in the speed of the receivers. I get it. They are trying to turn Flacco into the guy who can make all of the throws, but let’s be real — his strength is in his outside deep ball, and this intermediate passing offense is hindering him.
They will finish third in the AFC North if this offense continues to sputter along.