A Tale of Two Flaccos: Joe’s Progression in the NFL

January 02, 2009 |

It wasn’t the intention of the coaching staff to rush Joe Flacco into action. Initially he was going to see some time in the preseason and start the year holding a clipboard, but with injuries to Kyle Boller and Troy Smith things quickly changed.


Through his first five games where the Ravens went 2-3; Flacco seemed to lock onto receivers as opposed to going through his progressions and when he felt the slightest bit of pressure he would often run out of the pocket to his right.


Then something changed as if a switch was flipped. Flacco was more patient in the pocket and less eager to run, he was taking more shots down field, and most importantly the team was putting up more points.


Was it inexperience? Cam Cameron not letting him loose? More comfort with his receivers? I don’t have the answer and at this point I really don’t think it matters. What matters is that Flacco has become a pretty good NFL QB in a short time and is leading an offense that has been very productive since week 6. If his last 11 games are any indication of what is to come, Ravens fans may be watching something special for years to come.


Here is how the numbers breakdown:


                        PPG     att-com   pct        yds  td-int   yd/a   rate     

Games 1-5       15.6     90-144 (62.5%)   844      1-7     5.86   60.4                

Games 6-16     27.9   167-284 (58.8%)  2127   13-5     7.49   90.2                


Things of note:

His yards per attempt increased significantly in the last 11 games. Typically, productive offenses will have a yd/a average of over 7.


Flacco only threw INT’s in three of his last 11 games.


His best single game QB rating of 120.2 came against the Miami Dolphins who are currently ranked 25th against the pass.


Flacco has fumbled the ball 11 times, 9 of those times the Ravens recovered.


Flacco gets better as the game goes on, for the season his QB ratings by quarter are – 1st (70.8), 2nd (78.1), 3rd (84.9), 4th (89.8).


When the opposing team uses a blitz, Flacco was 74-126 for 988 yds with 9 td & 1 int for the year. His QB rating in that situation was 104.2.