The Ravens Have A Joe Flacco Problem
Joe Flacco’s ineptitude was on full display — in live color on national television — on Sunday night against the Steelers. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback led his team to just 200 total yards of offense and converted three turnovers into just six points.
Flacco threw for just 164 yards on 32 attempts and the Ravens offense was just 3-for-14 on third downs.
I know what you’re going to say. Zach, you obviously hate the Ravens or Zach, the Steelers defense is the top ranked defense in the NFL or Zach, why don’t you just go move to Pittsburgh?
I don’t hate the Ravens, the Steelers defense is good and I’m never moving to Pittsburgh. I’m just acknowledging that Flacco’s 2012 season is a bit of a problem for Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office. In case you forgot, it’s a contract year for the “franchise” QB.
Heading into Sunday’s game, Flacco completed 13 percent less passes on the road than he had at home, threw one more interception and recorded nearly half his QB rating. His numbers at M&T Bank Stadium however are pretty solid, 66.5 percent completion percentage, 11 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 100.5 QB rating.
So what’s that worth to the Ravens? Which Flacco do you pay and what guy will you get throughout the duration of that contract?
Remember when Joe Flacco threw for 382 yards against the Patriots and 356 against the Browns in back-to-back weeks? Man, those were days. After just the first week of the season John Harbaugh was publicly asking Newsome to “pay the man”, but it’s clearly not that simple.
“My biggest negotiating tactic is his play on the field,” Flacco’s agent Joe Linta said back in September. “Nothing that I say surpasses anything he does on the field.”
Flacco will be looking for top-10 quarterback money, but has he played like a top-1o quarterback? Can the Ravens afford to pay him like one given his inconsistencies this season? What happens if they let him walk and he blossoms into the guy they think he could be? Is there even enough money on the books after the big deals handed out to Ray Rice, Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs?
I don’t know the answers and I’m glad I don’t have work in the Baltimore front office. All I know is that the Ravens have Joe Flacco problem and they’ll have to figure it all out soon.