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.

What do the Ravens do with Joe Flacco this offseason?

Image Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

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.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email: zach@baltimoresportsreport.com.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

15 Comments

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  2. MGW

    November 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

    It’s quite the conudrum. Since he’s been with the team, they’ve won quite a few games. He’s looked impressive, at times, and totally lost at others. Inconsistent is the ebst adjective to describe him. What do they do? Do your mortgage your salary cap on this guy? I don’t know the answer and I’m glad it’s not my decision.

    • Donta

      December 1, 2012 at 8:37 am

      This is my response to this Boller,Smith,Dilfer,Zier,Stoney Case,Steve Mcnair,Jeff Blake, and Anthony Wright need i say more. Outside of Flacco and Testaverde this org has sucked at QB and before Flacco could not find even a decent QB end of discussion.

  3. Pole

    November 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

    MGW is correct in his assessment above but I say his record has been outstanding even if his individual play is inconsistent. What else is there? Seattle is paying a QB a lot of money to hold a clip board, I don’t see any great QB’s playing college football right now. Sometimes good enough is as good as it gets.

  4. FellsPointChris

    November 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

    As a team, the Ravens struggle on the road. Rice had 20 carries for 40 yrds.

  5. Dude

    November 19, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Did he turn the ball over? Did they win last night? Has he won since being here?

    I’m not saying they need to pay the man top 10 money, but he should get a good dollar amount.

    • MGW

      November 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

      But that’s the problem, his agent is expecting Top 10 money. What do they do?

      • FellsPointChris

        November 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        Of course they are going to pay Joe. Joe isn’t a stat guy. His philosophy is too win and win only. I guess the counter argument is: do you pay a losing qb top 10 money? Mistake free football goes a long way

        First they are going to have to Franchise tag him, then tag him again if needed until he agrees with a top 5 money offer.

  6. spy

    November 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    You people are missing the main point,,,,,,,,,,,,,the problem is not Flacco or Rice poor performance , they go hand in hand and will always be the result of how the O-line plays,,,,,,,,,,,,,games are won or lost in the trenches and boy is this ever true with the Ravens,,,,,,,,,,,,,The performance of Ray and Joe will remain inconsistent until Ozzie acquires some decent O-line talent , the way he has drafted recently this may take some time,,,,,,,,,,,,Ozzies poor draft picks have shown up in the defense the past few years and now his poor drafting is showing up in the o-line,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I won’t even get into the coaching and how they developed Joe Flacco , this is another problem for another day…………………..

    • Donta

      December 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

      This is the dirty little secret in Baltimore most seasons the Ravens have a very average offensive line and this is where it starts.

  7. 9inchnails

    November 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Spy, I have missed you. Ever since the big vote on election day, you have kept quite a low profile. So since the table games are not here yet, you and Mystery Man must have take up Martin O’Malley, the same way The Intimidator and Chowman did and got married. Just one question, why didn’t you invite Ravens2488 and I, we could have made it a triple header!

  8. Matt Lund

    November 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Will Joe Flacco be an elite QB in his career? No. But that’s OK, because he’s good enough to win games and get the Ravens to a Super Bowl. You’ll deal with his inconsistencies but he can be a bit part to get them there. He doesn’t need to be the man.

    • MGW

      November 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Again, I say I whole heartedly agree, but his agent has stated he is “elite” and the expectations appear to be that they expect him to be paid that way.

      Only so much cap money to go around, do you sink “elite” money on a guy who plays a “bit part”?

  9. Ravens2488

    November 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Flacco hasn’t been a Top 10 QB in any year he’s been in the league and don’t look now but a whole new crop of QB’s like Griffin, Luck, Dalton, etc are now a better choice than Flacco.

    Problem is Flacco thinks he’s a bigtime QB because the Ravens win… Flacco is between 15-20 in the QB department. But like someone said, there is nothing out there so you almost have to sign him. I would just Franchise him for two years and bring in a young capable backup much like the Patriots, Broncos did and groom him…

    Flacco should be moving forward after 4-5 years in the league but he’s either the same QB in the 15-20 range or he’s worse.

    Flacco is an overrated Trent Dilfer…

  10. Pole

    November 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

    That has won 12 straight AFC north games which is one of the other threads on this page. The guy isn’t a thouroughbred like Brady but he has a .703 winning percentage, better than Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, John Elway, Dan Marino, Johnny U, Drew Brees, and Troy Aikman. Is he elite, not in my opinion, but he’s not a turd either.