QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
HT: 6-6, WT: 236, Born: 1-16-1985, College: Delaware, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18
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Stats and Week 14 Projection
|11||at CHI||L, 20-23||17||31||162||5.2||1||2||4||20||5.0||0||12|
|12||vs NYJ||W, 19-3||17||26||273||10.5||1||1||0||0||0||17|
|13||vs PIT||W, 22-20||24||35||251||7.2||1||0||4||7||1.8||0||17|
Week 14 Injury Status and Other News
He was not listed on Wednesday's injury report.Opinion (from The Upgrade/Downgrade/Waiver Report): Flacco played a solid game and continued to refine his deep ball to Torrey Smith heading into a dream playoff schedule of Minnesota, Detroit, and New England. He's not quite a QB1, but it won't be a surprise if Flacco puts up QB1 numbers over the next three weeks.
Week 14 Matchup Infovs Minnesota Vikings (Great matchup) - Joe Flacco has pulled out two straight wins for the Ravens and thrown for over 250 yards in each of those contests (saddled with a sorry rushing attack the Ravens have no choice but to throw the football if they want to win). Last week, Flacco pitched 24/35 for 251 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. arch-rival Pittsburgh, after throwing 17/26 for 273 yards, one TD and one interception vs the Jets two games ago. Torrey Smith (14 targets for 8/167/1 receiving) and Jacoby Jones (13 for 8/156/1) have been the main spark-plugs for this offense of late. Ray Rice (eight targets for 7/35/0 receiving) and Ed Dickson (seven for 4/71/0) have assisted with moving the chains for Flacco and company.
The Vikings' pass D gave up 23/36 for 345 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to Josh McCown last week, after allowing 28/53 for 298 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to the Packers' backups two weeks ago. As you can see, the Vikings' defense has been porous of late in this phase of the game.
Advantage, Baltimore. Also, as the Ravens struggle to run the ball against pretty much everybody, Flacco is likely to throw the ball a good bit in this contest.
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Game SummariesWeek 1 at DEN - Joe Flacco played a poor game and got little help from his defense, and receivers. The offense suffered after Jacoby Jones and Michael Oher were injured. For the majority of the second half, after the Broncos adjusted for their absences, Flacco would not throw downfield. Jim Caldwell did Flacco no favors in this regard after abandoning the run, and tipping his hand whenever they did try to run the football. This eliminated the play action shot plays that helped carry the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. Also, Caldwell largely failed to get his speedy receivers the ball in space. Receivers dropped 5 passes but this only tells half the story. Dickson and Clark failed to make catches when they were hit after the ball arrived. Early in the game Flacco worked through his progressions and was able to find his open receivers against zone coverage. Flacco’s first bad decision was throwing late in his progression, under pressure across his body to a double covered Dallas Clark, but the pass was out of the reach of all players in the area. A few possessions later he threw to a well-covered Stokley and got intercepted. Flacco missed a pass to a wide open Ed Dickson as he was on the run from pressure. Flacco followed this throw with another dangerous throw across his body to Clark that was nearly intercepted, but Clark snagged the pass and turned up field for a big gain. After Jacoby Jones left the game Flacco went deep to Marlon Brown twice but over threw him both times. Later in the game Flacco started anticipating pressure and didn’t look as fearless or strong as he did in the first half. In the 3rd quarter, Flacco was late seeing Clark get open and Clark got hit hard costing them a third down conversion. Flacco then missed Torrey Smith when he had position on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He did later throw a perfect strike to Torrey after he got behind Tony Carter followed by a good pass to Marlon Brown for a touchdown. The offense overall struggled to sustain drives and confirmed the belief the Ravens offense will have to be run based with shot plays.
Week 2 vs CLE - Joe Flacco had a strong game and avoided mistakes. When he was pressured he looked confident stepping up in the pocket or rolling out to his right and buying time. On top of this, the Ravens changed their offensive philosophy dramatically from the first game. There were fewer plays designed to Stokley and the tight ends which resulted in better offensive execution. Flacco was very sharp on the opening possession. He hit 4 different receivers, challenged the browns secondary deep, and had 2 dropped passes one a potential touchdown to Marlon Brown. The following drive stalled after he missed Torrey Smith high. The next 2 possessions were stuffed on 3rd down by the Browns strong defensive line. He then had to deal with pressure which he eluded but was unable to find any open receiver. Then he had a receiver open but the inside pressure ruined the timing of the play. The ensuing drive was stalled due to Ray Rice slipping on his break on 3rd down. Running the two minute drill, the Ravens went 4 wide and neutralized the Browns pressure. Flacco threw a perfect strike to Torrey smith but Torrey couldn’t make the catch. To open the second half the Ravens went back to the ground game and Flacco converted three 3rd downs and the drive was capped with a Pierce touchdown. Flacco had a very good game overall making several great throws and looked less tentative showing off his arm on stick throws to move the chains.
Week 3 vs HOU - Joe Flacco played a conservative game and if the Ravens defense continues to play well more of the same should be expected. Both teams played conservative football as both offensive lines were over matched by the ultra-talented front sevens these team have. The Ravens also seemed nervous trusting Bernard Pierce in pass protection. Early in the game the Ravens were faced with very bad starting field position. John Harbaugh said after the game that the poor field position limited their willingness to attack downfield. Flacco was put in poor down and distance situations due to the lack of running success. He often battled a shaky pocket but was very good standing in strong and getting rid of the ball quickly. Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt consistently pushed the pocket and disrupted the Raven’s running game. The Ravens had only four first half drives. Two of the four drives were 3 and out and another was stalled due to two facemask penalties on Bryant McKinnie. Flacco didn’t get going until midway through the second quarter as the Texans dominated the time of possession early in the game. Flacco, aided by a pass interference penalty, drove the Ravens into the red zone but the Texans defense stood strong and held the Ravens to a field goal. Opening the second half the Flacco attacked the Texans deep and threw a perfect pass to Torrey Smith deep on third and long. Flacco seems to be getting more comfortable throwing to his new weapons every week. Flacco then hit Smith again on third down, on time and accurate so Smith was able to slip a tackle and get up field for a big gain. The completions to Smith lead to a Pierce touchdown. The rest of the game Flacco was used more or less as a game manager with a significant lead. The Ravens continued to run the ball with little success and Flacco kept the Raven’s drives alive with efficiency on third down. He had only one deep target the remainder of the game. The Ravens were content with their short runs and completions to help ice the game by adding two more field goals on their final three possessions. Overall Flacco played a mediocre game and stayed mistake free.
Week 4 at BUF - Joe Flacco played a poor game amplified by the play calling and the weapons around him. Abandoning the run no doubt hurt Flacco and with his receivers not making the necessary plays interceptions should be expected. Against a depleted secondary the Ravens receivers still struggled to gain separation. One positive was how well the Ravens offensive line pass protected and Flacco repeatedly stepped up in the pocket or escaped the pocket to avoid the rush. On the opening Flacco drive threw a nice pass to Marlon Brown on the move to convert the third and long. The drive stalled because the Ravens receivers failed to gain separation and Flacco had to throw it away. During his second drive Flacco was intercepted by Aaron Williams. Flacco had a clean pocket and failed to see Williams in zone. The result was an easy interception and Flacco’s first giveaway. Flacco was able to capitalize on great field position after the Ravens defense recovered a fumble on the Bill’s 30 yard line. He first eluded pressure and made a nice sideline throw to Dallas Clark. Then he threw a jump ball to Marlon Brown who hauled it in for a touchdown. After a few stalled drives, Flacco threw a high pass to Ed Dickson that hit off his hands right to Jim Leonhard. The pass wasn’t perfect but Flacco’s second interception is on Dickson. His next throw was behind Brown and was nearly intercepted. After a Daryl Smith interception Flacco took over in the red zone. Flacco threw a jump ball late to Torrey Smith and instead of high pointing the pass Smith kept running and let Aaron Williams make an easy interception. Down only 6 after the touchdown Flacco threw another ugly interception right to Kiko Alonso. Flacco was either targeting Tandon Doss or Brown who were both running crossing routes. Flacco threw the pass right in between both players right where Alonso was and he made the easy interception. The following possession Flacco was pressured missing a wide open Doss. On third down, Doss dropped what would have been a first down. On the ensuing possession Flacco redeemed himself and hit Torrey Smith in stride for a 74 yard gain. The drive stalled after Smith couldn’t make a play on a 50/50 ball in the end zone. Flacco failed to see Dallas Clark open for a touchdown on the play and the Ravens had to settle for a field goal. Flacco then made a perfect throw to Deonte Thompson against double coverage for a big gain. The drive stalled after getting into scoring position as no one gained separation and the running game had been abandoned. On his final drive with a chance to win or tie the game Flacco was late throwing to Clark and the ball was tipped into the air and intercepted. Flacco on the day made numerous bad decisions and a few great plays but with this supporting cast this game script will rarely result in a win for the Ravens.
Week 5 at MIA - Joe Flacco moved the Ravens down the field effectively. His receivers didn’t make any blatant mistakes or painful drops and the offense ran smoother because of it. However the offense was short circuited early by dreadful offensive line play. They allowed constant pressure on Flacco and couldn’t open running lanes. To Flacco’s credit he didn’t let the punishment he took deter him from standing tall in the pocket and delivering accurate passes. Flacco looked solid in the first quarter. He converted a few third downs and hit his open receivers. Flacco’s first big play was a nice touch pass to Ed Dickson that he dropped perfectly into his outstretched arms for a gain of 43 yards. Flacco couldn’t capitalize after the big play over throwing an open Tandon Doss on third down. Bryant McKinnie made the Raven’s front office look great for the Monroe trade by playing horribly and allowing defenders to bother Flacco constantly. The opening drive of the third quarter consisted of 2 long pass interference calls that set up a Ray Rice touchdown. Flacco made a tough throw to Doss getting hit as he threw on a corner route. On 3rd and 22 backed up on the Raven’s 8 yard line Flacco threw a high arching pass to no one in particular and it was intercepted by Reshad Jones and returned for a touchdown. Flacco’s arm was hit on the play by Dion Jordan who beat McKinnie with speed. The decision to throw on a long down and distance with no intermediate routes being run on the play other than covered Ray Rice was questionable to say the least. Flacco’s connection with Torrey Smith is only getting better and he is fearless throwing to him even in tight coverage.
Week 6 vs GB - Flacco played an average game but didn’t rise to the occasion or elevate his teammates with his own play. The Raven’s offensive line was abysmal but Flacco stood tall and found open receivers when he could. The stat line for Flacco is very deceiving. Baltimore’s big plays in the passing game were mostly a product of running after the catch or blown coverages. Torrey Smith received a ton of attention from the Packers secondary and Sam Shields did an excellent job containing him. However, there were plays to be made by the Flacco to Smith connection but they didn’t. Joe Flacco was sacked to end Balitmore’s opening drive when Gino Gradkowski let A.J. Hawk run free for an easy sack on Flacco. Hawk had 3 sacks on the day which is an inexcusable breakdown in blitz pick-ups that must be fixed immediately. On the ensuing possession Flacco was nearly intercepted by Davon House on a throw to Marlon Brown. Brown and Flacco weren’t on the same page and House should have had an interception. Penalties and ineptitude running the football left the Ravens in long third down situations they couldn’t convert. Flacco did a good job early of leaving muddied pockets and scrambling for extra time or yardage. The Ravens’ receivers struggled to separate when the Packers dropped 7 or more into coverage. As a result Flacco didn’t get many clean reads in the first half. Flacco overthrew an open Tandon Doss on a drive before half time but it was a play Doss could have made to extend the drive. On the final drive before half the Ravens went shot gun with only 12 seconds left on their own 34 yard line. The result was newly acquired tackle Eugene Monroe getting beat by Nick Perry for a strip sack. The Ravens couldn’t pick up an inside blitz on the opening second half drive and were forced to punt. The third quarter was more of the same. The Ravens were constantly behind in the down and distance. The Ravens had numerous penalties called on the offensive line that couldn’t seem to remember the snap count. Big plays gave the Ravens opportunities to score but their offense sputtered in the red zone with no threat of a running game. When the running game picked up late in the 3rd quarter Flacco marched the ravens down the field. The drive was capped with a nice throw to the corner of the end zone for a Touchdown by Jacoby Jones. On the Ravens final offensive possession Flacco found Tandon Doss deep for a gain of 63 after his defender fell down on 4th down. Flacco followed this play with a perfect pass down the seam to Dallas Clark for a touchdown.
Week 7 at PIT - Joe Flacco played a solid game but couldn’t complete the plays needed to win the game. Unlike last week, the Ravens didn’t convert the same number of big plays that help offenses struggling to move the ball score. The pass protection was good overall. The lack of a running game kept the Ravens in long 3rd downs. Combine this with procedural penalties and limited opportunities with the Steelers dominating time of possession and the result is a Ravens’ loss. Flacco and the Raven’s offense started slow as usual against the Steelers. Flacco missed Torrey Smith on a crossing pattern on third and long and the Ravens went 3 and out. On the ensuing possession Flacco hit Doss in stride for a 22 yard gain. Flacco missed an open Torrey Smith before being sacked on third down to end a potential scoring drive. The Ravens offense couldn’t find any rhythm in the first half or capitalize on their limited opportunities. To open the second half the Ravens had a delay of game following a timeout. On third and long Flacco underthrew Jacoby Jones on a potential touchdown who had a couple steps on William Gay. Gay was able to catch up and deflect the pass. On the following possession Flacco would make the pass he couldn’t before to Torrey Smith for a 41 yard gain. Flacco was good throughout the game at eluding pressure in the pocket or scrambling for more time. Flacco put together a very good drive to tie the game. The running game was more effective as the Steelers tried to prevent the big play. Flacco found his open receivers and marched the Ravens into the red zone. The drive was capped with a touchdown to Dallas Clark.
Week 9 at CLE - Joe Flacco played his worst game of the season in the loss to Cleveland. The offensive line showed no improvement after the bye week allowing Flacco and the running backs to get hit in the backfield too often. The Ravens receivers played well but Flacco didn’t give them the chance to make plays with several missed or inaccurate throws. Flacco opened the game with a pass to the feet of Jacoby Jones he couldn’t haul in. Flacco missed Jones again on a deep out route when Jones had to wait for the ball and Buster Skrine recovered to break up the pass. On the following possession Flacco made a couple nice throws to Deonte Thompson who picked up 2 first downs. Flacco threw behind an open Deonte Thompson and Chris Owens broke up the pass. Flacco redeemed himself on third down when he threw as he stepped up in the pocket and hit Tandon Doss in stride for a 23 yard gain. On third and long inside the red zone Flacco was sacked when Pierce and Oher were beaten in pass protection and the Ravens had to settle for a field goal. The Ravens offense stalled on its next two possessions, unable to run the ball or get separation downfield in the passing game. Even Marshal Yanda the Ravens best offensive lineman was beat by Chris Owens and Phil Taylor on back to back plays. A holding penalty would leave them in fourth and twenty as the Ravens could not overcome unfavorable down and distances early. Off of play action, Jacoby Jones got a step behind the Brown’s secondary but Flacco underthrew Jones and the tipped pass went into the hands of Joe Haden. On the ensuing possession, Flacco underthrew Torrey Smith but it resulted in a 44 yard gain instead of an interception this time. Flacco then found Marlon Brown on an out route against zone for a touchdown. Flacco was able to scramble to convert a third and long. Flacco’s sporadic accuracy and shaky protection didn’t fix themselves and the Raven’s offense was ineffective. A scramble and completion to Dallas Clark extended the drive after the running game couldn’t net positive yardage. With more emphasis on quick passes Flacco moved the Ravens down the field. Flacco threw a nice touchdown pass to Brown against man coverage. On the two point conversion the Ravens moved the pocket and Flacco found Brown again on an out pattern with Torrey Smith providing the pick to get Brown separation.
Week 10 vs CIN - Joe Flacco looked very sharp to start the game. The Ravens broke tendency with more passes on first downs, moved the pocket to buy Flacco time, and incorporated some trick plays in the game plan. The Raven’s offensive line protected Flacco well aside from one missed blitz pick up. Flacco needs to stop taking sacks and holding the ball so long. The opening possession stalled after a 3rd and 4 pass bounced off the hands of Dallas Clark. The Ravens next offensive snap was a flea flicker pass to Jacoby Jones. Flacco underthrew Jones, as he has done frequently since Jones’ return, but Jones drew a long pass interference penalty that gave the ravens first and goal. On 3rd and goal Flacco was flushed from the pocket and ran for his life before making a perfect pass between 2 defenders to Dallas Clark for a touchdown. The following Ravens drive was brought to halt when Flacco threw a wide receiver screen in the dirt intended for Torrey Smith and the Ravens had to settle for a field goal. On 3rd and 10 Flacco hesitated stepping up in the pocket and was wrapped up. Flacco already had his mind set on doing his best Brandon Weeden impersonation and managed to throw a lame duck high in the air for an easy interception. Even if the pass was completed to one of the receivers in the area it likely still would have been short of a first down. The next Ravens drive was a three and out with a Flacco sack on third down. The initial protection was good but Flacco’s hesitance cost his team. Following an interception the Ravens got the ball 1st and 10 from the 11 yard line. Flacco found Torrey Smith on a slant route for a touchdown. Flacco had to throw the ball over the underneath linebacker and Smith made a nice leaping catch and held onto the ball after being hit. Flacco’s struggles began after getting a 17-0 advantage. Flacco was sacked by Carlos Dunlap on a play he was afforded excellent protection. Flacco had at least 6 seconds to unload the ball but fortunately for the Ravens, Dunlap was flagged for a horse collar tackle on the sack. A few plays later Marlon Brown slipped on his break and Flacco’s pass went straight to Chris Crocker who dropped the sure interception. Flacco then threw behind Torrey Smith on slant and it fell incomplete. The Ravens opening possession included a miss short to Brown, a third down sack and punt. The following 2 possessions were also punts after getting themselves into too many third and long situations because of the Ravens inability to run the football. To start the 4th quarter the Ravens were moving the ball only to have a penalty set them back to yet another 3rd and long. Flacco misread the coverage and threw it into the waiting arms of Terrance Newman. Flacco’s first highlight of the second half came with 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Flacco threw a perfect pass 50 yards downfield to Torrey Smith in the end zone but Smith couldn’t make the play to put the game away. Instead of a touchdown, Flacco was strip sacked but Carlos Dunlap once again holding the ball too long and the Bengals recovered. In overtime, Flacco made an excellent throw to Ed Dickson similar to his touchdown to Clark. Flacco had to scramble away from the rush and made a perfect throw down the sideline for a first down.
Week 11 at CHI - Flacco played an okay game considering the conditions. The field was absolutely horrible and the broadcast was reporting wind gusts of 60+ miles per hour. Flacco’s offensive line played very well overall and Flacco had plenty of support from the run game. The Ravens simply didn’t make enough plays to win the game. Facing his first third down Flacco threw a strike to Dallas Clark down the seam to convert. Flacco’s accuracy and ball placement were good early aside from one miss to Dickson in the flat. Flacco missed Dickson for the second time in the first quarter. Dickson was running open but Flacco floated the pass just a foot too far. It would have been a gain of at least 30 yards. Flacco did a better job early escaping the pocket and scrambling for yardage instead of holding the ball for too long in the pocket. Flacco made a better cut than Pierce did all day on a 3rd and 7 scramble to extend the drive. A Marshal Yanda holding penalty and Eugene Monroe letting Peppers run free to Flacco would ensure the Ravens couldn’t build on their 10 point lead. Flacco tried making a routine throw to the flat to Vonta Leach but Ray Rice missed the cut block leading to an easy pick six. Flacco released the ball as Rice was hitting the defender so the blame lies solely with Rice. Flacco made a good throw to Doss along the sideline where only Doss could get to the ball and avoid the incoming safety. The drive was aided by a weak unnecessary roughness penalty on Julius Peppers where he appeared to slide simultaneously with Flacco but made a little contact. The Drive was capped with Flacco threading the needle between a safety and corner to Torrey Smith on a slant route for a touchdown. Flacco was sacked by Julius Peppers on the opening play of the following drive after Monroe had good initial protection. Flacco continues to hold the ball too long and the results have been sacks and unforced errors. Another penalty by Marshal Yanda put the Ravens in 3rd and 16. Flacco forced the ball down the seam to Dallas Clark who was blanketed by Jon Bostic. Bostic made a great play find the ball and making the interception. The pass was accurate but Flacco must not have thought Bostic could run the seam with Clark. The Ravens opening drive of the second half started strong. With a large portion of Rice and a couple third down conversions to Doss the Ravens took 7+ minutes off the clock. The Ravens philosophy for the game had clearly shifted because of the field and weather conditions. The drive stalled after facing a 3rd and 8 as Flacco’s pass sailed high and wide to Torrey Smith. The wind appeared to alter the ball’s trajectory. On 4th and 8 the ravens went for it and Flacco was blindsided when Monroe barely got his hands on the defensive end on his way to Flacco and a forced fumble. The Ravens next two possessions wouldn’t amount to anything but they got the ball with just under 5 minutes remaining down 3. Flacco put the ball where it had to be on 4th and 4 and Dallas Clark made a one handed catch and picked up the first down. The Ravens ran the ball down inside the 5 yard line with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. On 3rd and goal a rolling shotgun snap didn’t allow Flacco to see Deonte Thompson or Torrey Smith who were both open in the end zone. To start overtime the Ravens went 3 and out as the potential first down went off the hands of Tandon Doss.
Week 12 vs NYJ - Joe Flacco played a good game overall. The wind was a major factor in the game and limited both passing games. Flacco started a little off rhythm. Flacco threw wide of Marlon Brown running a crossing route. Then he threw deep to Jacoby Jones on 3rd and long with Dee Millner in good coverage. Jones made a play and knocked the ball down to avoid an interception. The pass protection was strong early and Flacco amplified his time to throw by escaping the pocket and making off-script plays. Flacco made a perfect pass inbetween two defenders to Jones but Jones dropped the ball after being hit by Ed Reed. The Ravens had to settle for a field goal. Flacco threw a perfect bomb to Torrey Smith’s outside shoulder Smith hauled in as he fended off Antonio Cromartie. It was the type of big play the Ravens haven’t had enough of this year. Following the big play Flacco forced the ball to Dickson and was nearly intercepted. Flacco avoided another potential disaster on the following play. Flacco was hit as he threw on an all-out blitz and the pass fluttered high in the air about 10 yards downfield right into the hands of Dallas Clark. The miracle pass picked up a first down but the Ravens settled for a field goal again. Following a turnover the Ravens had the ball in the Jets redzone. Flacco promptly threw an interception to Cromartie. Flacco had Smith and Marlon Brown in the area. Flacco either expected Brown to continue his out route to the sideline or he missed Smith high and wide. Flacco was making good reads and moving the ball down the field without much of a running game. Flacco’s blunder was holding the ball too long and getting sacked for a big loss. The Ravens had to settle for another field goal. On 3rd and twelve Flacco threw a strike to Torrey Smith but Smith couldn’t hold on and the Ravens had to kick another field goal. Flacco decided to go deep for the third time and led Jacoby Jones perfectly into the end zone for a 66 yard touchdown. The Ravens offense was much more conservative after they went up 17.
Week 13 vs PIT - Joe Flacco played his best game of the season in a must win game. Flacco kept the offense moving with an ineffective running game. His receivers dropped two passes and his pass protection was very good most of the game. Flacco threw only 2 off target passes missing open targets all game. Flacco went to deep to Jacoby Jones on the Ravens first offensive snap but Flacco underthrew the pass and it fell to the grass incomplete. Off of play action Flacco launched another bomb, this time to Torrey Smith, the pass hit him in stride but Smith was brought down at the 1. Flacco hit Smith for a touchdown a couple of plays later. After early success attacking with shot plays off of play action and boot legs it was surprising the Ravens didn’t test the Steelers secondary deep more. Flacco’s first blunder was underthrowing Ed Dickson on a deep crossing route for a potentially big gain. Flacco showed pocket awareness he sometimes lacks by eluding Jason Worilds and diving head first to convert a 3rd and 8. Worilds helped keep the Ravens out of the end zone with a strip sack beating Oher easily and forcing a field goal attempt. Flacco opened the second half sharp converting third downs and marching the Ravens into the red zone. The Ravens inability to run the ball in the red zone is costing them a lot of points. Defenses are simply not afraid of Rice or Pierce so they drop into coverage heavy defenses. Incomplete passes leave the Ravens in long down and distances. This is where the Ravens miss Pitta and Boldin who can beat defenders with their size. The bottom line is the Ravens need to change their plan of attack or they will continue to come up short near the end zone. On the following possession, Flacco was given all day to throw and found Jones on an improvisational play for a gain of 34. The pass protection was excellent aside from Oher and Rice. Flacco mostly had clean pockets to throw from. On one of the few plays the protection was poor Flacco sprinted away from the rush and threw on the run downfield to Smith. The pass hit him perfectly in the hands down the sideline but he dropped it. It was a great play from Flacco that could have put away any chance of a Steeler’s comeback.