Well, it’s the morning after the first inexcusable loss of the Ravens season and as I peered out over the rooftops to the east, early today, I saw the sun start starting to rise.
Yep, my old friend, Harry Lentz, has been proven right, again.
Regardless of how bad any Baltimore football fan feels, we can all count on the sobering reality of another Monday greeting us with the accustomed reminder that it’s time to go back to work.
Hmmm …. do you think that might be the resounding message at 1 Winning Drive, as well? No doubt, you can count on this reality, as strongly as Harry Lentz’s daily prediction on sunrises.
With yesterday’s ugly loss squarely in the rear view, it’s time for all of us who watch the games to complain about that stinker on the Ohio River. But, the Ravens braintrust is already working on improving their quarterback’s vulnerabilities, as well as preparing for the Cleveland Browns.
Speaking of work, Joe Flacco is going to draw as much attention as any one person in this entire world throughout Baltimore’s respective employment communities today. That’s right, MONDAY MORNINGS breed QUARTERBACKS and every slapdick with an opinion on football is going to breakdown Joe’s problems.
“He holds the ball too long”
“He doesn’t look comfortable”
“He stares at his receivers”
“He looks like Kyle Boller.”
Indeed, each of these phases and hundreds of others will be uttered as Ravens fans try to comprehend losing for the first time in 247 days.
That’s right, the last time the Ravens walked off a field as losers of a game that mattered was on January 16th, in Indianapolis. You remember that night, right?
When Flacco digested last season’s playoff loss to the Colts, his passing statistics (20 for 35, 0 TD, 2 INT) must have weighed on his mind. Ironically, yesterday was statistically in the neighborhood (17 for 39, 1 TD, 4 INT) of that Colts loss.
Is there a reason for the similar results? Well, the true diagnostic answer to such a question really lays at the feet of Cam Cameron and his staff. However, a pattern of certain likened end-results is occuring.
Joe Flacco absolutely, positively struggles against the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals.
There, I said it.
And, there must be an articulable reason, right?
Blame it on the COVER 2 DEFENSE. The Colts and Bengals comprise their own respective versions of tormenting Joe Flacco. But, these teams absolutely obstruct the middle of the field and routinely drop a couple defenders deep on the Ravens.
And, so long as they can apply significant pressure by routinely rushing their front four, such successes will continue.
In his brief NFL career, Joe Flacco has faced the Colts and Bengals EIGHT times. The Ravens have won TWO of those games. And, both wins came against an injury-riddled Bengals team that went 4-11, in 2008.
In these same 8 games, Flacco has thrown 4 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while completing 162 of 268 passes.
Have things worsened?
It certainly looks like it. Perhaps, the Colts and Bengals have found a way to further complicate this book they’ve developed on Flacco and the Ravens. That’s what they’re expected to do.
In his last 16 quarters against the Colts and Bengals, Joe Flacco has thrown just ONE touchdown, while slinging NINE interceptions. He can’t beat Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer with such performances.
The Colts and Bengals have found Flacco’s glaring weakness …..
He has problems making a play and fitting the ball in a very tiny window. Thus, the safeties are splitting the field, while linebackers fall back and the cornerbacks stay underneath and do everything possible to hinder any routes to the middle.
The Colts and Bengals are not employing any ORGANIZED CHAOS schemes. They’re simply doing what works …..
Is yesterday’s loss lying squarely on the doorstep of Joe Flacco? Hell, no …..
There is plenty of blame to go around, especially in regard to the offensive line, as well as some harrowing special teams breakdowns. And, yes, officiating blunders breathed life into a rather lackluster Bengals offense.
But, Flacco will take the heat today. It comes with the territory and he knows it. The Monday Morning Quarterbacks will make their voices heard late into the afternoon.
That said, it’s just the second week of the NFL season. A week from today, we’ll sit around and celebrate a beatdown of the Cleveland Browns in the home opener and everything will be fine, again.
It’s a “week to week” process, I suppose. This Ravens team can improve in many facets, and yesterday serves as proof of it.
But, be certain of one thing …..
Joe Flacco is still the key component to the future of the Baltimore Ravens. End of discussion …..