Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is having one of the best seasons of his career, but his passing performances on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are not anything to celebrate. Flacco completed 52.4% or less of his passes in road games in 2012, compared to home games, where he completed 60.9% or better. The only thing that matters in the NFL is wins of course, but the road game against Philadelphia cost the Ravens a win and they barely got past the Kansas City Chiefs. What is causing Joe Flacco to develop a Jekyll and Hyde persona? The answer is rather boring and that is the fact, that the Chiefs and the Eagles are good pass defense teams.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 9th against the pass in 2012 this season with cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Kansas City Chiefs are 8th in pass defense in 2012 with underrated cornerbacks like Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt and former Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry. The previous teams the Ravens faced at home were the 30th ranked pass defense New England Patriots, 16th ranked pass defense Cincinnati Bengals and 26th ranked pass defense Cleveland Browns. All of this information proves a couple of things. Joe Flacco isn’t terrible on the road, because of some weird mojo.
However it also proves that Flacco is not the type of quarterback that can elevate his team over tough pass defenses. Flacco’s passer rating has been pretty consistent with the pass defenses he has faced.
Cincinnati Bengals: 16th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 128.4
Philadelphia Eagles: 9th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 66.8
New England Patriots: 30th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 117.7
Cleveland Browns: 26th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 83.2
Kansas City Chiefs: 8th ranked pass defense-Flacco’s Passer rating 55.6
Besides a few hitches, Joe Flacco hasn’t shown to emerge as the type of quarterback to make tough pass defenses look bad. It doesn’t make Flacco a bad quarterback, but is he really worth the big fat paycheck he is expected to receive after the 2012 season when his contract expires? This type of information can keep some Raven fans up at night, because of the issues the Ravens defense has had this season. A unit with a storied history is beginning to show its age in a bad way. Flacco will have to lead this team to victories in the Playoffs this season and that is a scary thought with the information just presented.
There is still a lot more football to play and of course Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith aren’t exactly the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL. However Joe Flacco is supposed to be showing the Ravens, he is the type of quarterback that can elevate his teammates over certain opponents. Flacco hasn’t shown he can do that yet and that will always be a question mark over his career for some time to come.