“Elite” is what commentators and fans were all throwing around around this time last year when referring to Baltimore Ravens signal caller Joe Flacco. Now, Ravens Nation is eating crow, trying to get the bad taste of defeat out of their mouths and wondering what changed for the team’s Super Bowl MVP.
Some will come out and say it was the offensive line, and others will say it was the lack of a run game. I am here to tell you that while those things were contributing factors, the truth is that Flacco simply makes bad decisions.
When you look at 2012 and compare it to 2013, they are somewhat similar when talking about the regular season. Flacco threw for roughly 100 yards more than 2012 this past season, but still has not reached the 4000-yard mark in his career. His completion percentage and number of TDs were in the same ballpark.
Flacco’s major decline was in the turnover department — or I should say increase because the number sure did. How does he go from throwing 10 INTs in 2012 to throwing 22 in 2013? Flacco felt he needed to shoulder the load with the run game being so horrible. The difference between him and elite quarterbacks is that when the latter do shoulder the load, they tend to be more cautious with the ball, using the short pass to set up the deep ball.
Flacco’s issue was he failed to go through progressions once the ball was snapped. He knew who he was going to pre-snap and if that man was not open, he tried to wait until he was to throw the ball or would try to force the pass even if the man was double-covered.
There are other receivers on the field for a reason and until he realizes what a check-down and second/third progressions are again, he will struggle in this league. Flacco may be a Super Bowl MVP, but he is not elite.