Baltimore Ravens: Time For Joe Flacco To Step Up

By Jermaine Lockett
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The $120 million man’s play hasn’t been worth two cents lately. Some of you are willing to cut the Baltimore Ravens QB some slack due to the fact that he has had an MCL sprain and it is affecting his ability to plant; however, I think his decision-making has been off since before his injury.

Joe Flacco has not been able to find the end zone for two games straight, choosing to stare down receivers.  I understand that certain plays are set up for certain players; however, if the player is covered, then the quarterback is supposed to move to the next progression to find the open receiver. This is an area that Flacco fails miserably at.

Another area the six-year pro could stand to work on is mixing up his first progression. There were multiple plays against the Detroit Lions where if he would’ve looked to his left first, he would’ve found that Torrey Smith had beat his guy and was at least 15-yards downfield anf wide open.  Flacco needs to trust in his pocket enough to move himself into position to find his backside receiver.

Sure, his line is horrible in run-blocking, but they are shockingly good at establishing a pocket for Flacco to throw in.

Additionally, he needs to avoid throwing into double coverage.  If it isn’t there, go to the next guy, hit a check-down RB or throw it away. 19 INTs when he hasn’t even amassed 20 TDs or 4,000 yards on the season is ridiculous. On both of his interceptions against the New England Patriots, he tried to thread the needle; one of them to a receiver in double coverage.

Flacco also needs to realize that his strength is not in these touch throws. He doesn’t put enough power on the touch throw, which causes him to throw incomplete passes or in Sunday’s case, picks.

His strength is to drop back and launch bombs. He has the speedy receivers in Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith who can go get it. He needs to use them more. I’m not saying for him go away from intermediate passes altogether, but this touch nonsense needs to go. He should use the big arm Steve Bisciotti paid for to put some heat on each pass going to the team’s guys so that they either catch it or it breaks the defender’s fingers for attempting to bat it down.

If Flacco can improve in the aforementioned areas, he will at least look like more of a complete QB. If not, fans might be returning to the days of “Boller” — Kyle Boller. Ugh, no one wants to go through that again.

Jermaine Lockett is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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