Flacco’s Stats Not the Whole Story…There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around

October 04, 2011 | Thyrl Nelson

Stats don’t always tell the whole story but they usually provide a pretty good jumping off point. That said as I watched the Ravens game against the Jets from Sunday with the benefit of hindsight and a rewind button, I think that Joe Flacco’s performance wasn’t as bad as he’s being taken to task for. It sure could have been better, but there was plenty of blame to go around for the shortcomings evident in his stat line.

Here is how I saw the 34 plays in which Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense attempted to pass. The good the bad and the ugly:


Drive #1 – Score 0-0 – 14:54 1st qtr.


(#1) – Play #1 – 1st and 10 – Flacco dumps it as he’s in the process of being tackled by 2 Jets pass rushers called for intentional grounding.

Joe’s line: 0 for 1

Diagnosis: Under duress, could’ve taken the sack, tried to dump it instead. Put that one on the offensive line and give some credit to the Jets pass rush.


(#2) – Play #3 – 3rd and 13 – From the shotgun Flacco hits Dickson for 14 yards and a first down. Nice play all around.

Joe’s line: 1 for 2


(#3) – Play #4 – 1st and 10 – Nice pocket, quick strike to Rice thrown over his head.

Joe’s Line: 1 for 3

Diagnosis: Bad throw, put that one on Joe.


(#4) – Play #5 – 2nd and 10 – From the shotgun, quick screen to Pitta who goes for 14 yards and a 1st down. Nice pocket, nice play.

Joe’s Line: 2 for 4


(#5) – Play #6 – 1st and 10 – Flacco rolls right throws deep to Torrey Smith guarded by Revis. Revis got a bit grabby with hand-fighting and might have held Smith up a bit. Flacco overthrows but doesn’t put it where Revis can make a play on the ball either. Maybe sends a message to Jets defense that they’re not afraid to use Smith or to test Revis.

Joe’s Line: 2 for 5

Diagnosis: Good defense


(#6) – Play #7 – 2nd and 10 – Play fake to Leach on left side, batted by Brian Thomas. Good edge rush and pressure from the Jets denied passing lane for Leach pressure made the Ravens rush the play.

Joe’s Line: 2 for 6

Diagnosis: Nice defense again…these Jets are pretty good.


(#7) – Play #8 – 3rd and 10 – Flacco chased in circles by 2 Jets defenders but can’t buy enough time to make a good throw or to get someone open; throws incomplete but avoids the sack in the face of heavy pressure and bought the offense extra time to try to make a play.

Joe’s Line: 2 for 7

Diagnosis: Bad protection, better than a sack.



Drive #2 – Score 7-7 – 11:43 1st qtr.


(#8) – Play #3 – 2nd and 5 – Complete to Dickson over the middle for 8 yards, good protection nice play…1st down.

Joe’s Line: 3 for 8


(#9) – Play #5 – 2nd and 9 – Quick screen to T. Smith, dropped immediately for 1-yard gain. It’s a completion but not a very productive play.

Joe’s Line: 4 for 9


(#10) – Play #6 – 3rd and 13 – From the shotgun hits Rice in stride between the hashes. Rice peels off a couple of defenders and goes for 52 yards. Nice play all around.

Joe’s Line: 5 for 10


(#11) – Play #7 – 1st and 10 – Under moderate pressure from the shotgun Flacco breaks right throws into the endzone for Boldin incomplete but Boldin draws a holding penalty. Incomplete but nice play by Flacco to keep it alive with his feet and productive outcome via the penalty.

Diagnosis: It won’t show up in the box score but the result was productive.


(#12) – Play #9 – 2nd and 7 – Shot to T. Smith in the back of the endzone. It looked like it may have been tipped at the goal line but probably not. Hard to say if the window was there to hit Smith in stride as he was working between defenders but the throw was behind Smith and incomplete.

Joe’s Line: 5 for 11

Diagnosis: Put that one on Flacco for throwing behind the receiver.


(#13) – Play #10 – 3rd and 7 – From the shotgun Flacco throws to the back left corner of the endzone to Dickson. Dickson may have either stopped on the route or been held up and appeared to have his hands held down by the defender as the ball was coming down.

Joe’s Line: 5 for 12

Diagnosis: It was a good throw and maybe a missed call by the officials. Credit the defense either way.



Drive #3 – Score 10-7 Ravens – 4: 45 1st qtr.


(#14) – Play #2 – 2nd and 8 – Big shot to Smith down the field, under thrown by Flacco which allowed the defender to get back and make a play on the ball. Flacco had a couple of overthrows already and may have pulled the string and over compensated on that one.

Joe’s Line: 5 for 13

Diagnosis: Bad throw, good defense


(#15) – Play #3 – 3rd and 8 – Rice levels a Jets defender as he breaks out of the backfield, Flacco shakes off 2 taklers and hits Rice on the left sideline for 12 yards and a first down despite breakdowns in protection.

Joe’s Line: 6 for 14


(#16) – Play #4 – 1st and 10 – Flacco hits Boldin on the left hash as a defender grasps at Flacco’s feet rolling right. Again the protection could have been better, nice play by the QB.

Joe’s Line: 7 for 15


(#17) – Play #5 – 1st and 10 – Screen to Leach incomplete. The play was beaten from the start. Leach had 2 defenders waiting for him to catch the ball and may have let it fall on purpose to avoid a loss. It was under thrown a bit too as Flacco was under duress from 3 Jets rushers too.

Joe’s Line: 7 for 16

Diagnosis: Bad play design or bad timing for the call. This one was doomed from the snap.


(#18) – Play #6 – 2nd and 10 – Nice protection in the shotgun, Flacco hits Dickson crossing through the middle at the 4-yard line. Nice protection…nice play.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 17



Drive #4 – Score 17-7 Ravens – 14:16 2nd qtr.


(#19) – Play #1 – 1st and 10 – Play fake, pass to Dickson off his hands.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 18

Diagnosis: Good play, bad hands


(#20) – Play #3 – 3rd and 6 – Flacco nearly sacked by Pace from the shotgun, dumps the ball at Williams feet to avoid the sack and keep the field goal attempt at 38 yards.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 19

Diagnosis: Heads up play by Flacco to avoid the sack.



Drive #5 – Score 20-7 Ravens – 11:35 2nd qtr.


(#21) – Play #1 – 1st and 10 – Nice pocket and Flacco overthrew Dickson over the middle.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 20

Diagnosis: Put that one on the QB


(#22) – Play #2 – 2nd and 10 – Flacco from the shotgun goes back to Dickson and hits him in his hands, tough drop.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 21

Diagnosis: Good play, bad hands.


(#23) – Play #3 – 3rd and 10 – From the shotgun Flacco again goes to Dickson, this time dropping one perfectly in the bucket over Dickson’s shoulder. Dickson drops another.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 22

Diagnosis: Good play, great throw, bad hands…again!!!



Drive #6 – Score 27-7 Ravens – 7:15 2nd qtr.


(#24) – Play #2 – 2nd and 11 – Play action, Flacco takes another deep shot to Smith and was hit by Scott as he threw…incomplete.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 23

Diagnosis: Good defense and bad pass protection. Lucky to avoid the sack again.


(#25) – Play #3 – 3rd and 11 – Flacco looking for Rice over the middle fooled by David Harris blitz action before the snap. Harris stood in Rice’s path as Rice stopped the route. Interception returned for TD. *Joe McKnight with the QB pressure on the play.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 24

Diagnosis: Bad read, bad throw, good defense…TD.



Drive #7 – Score 27-14 Ravens – 6: 17 2nd qtr.


(#26) – Play #2 – 2nd and 8 – Pass to Dickson from the shotgun…high and incomplete.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 25

Diagnosis: Bad throw


(#27) – Play #3 – 3rd and 8 – Sacked

Diagnosis: Good pressure and no one open…good defense.



Drive #8 – Score 27-17 – 2: 14 2nd qtr.


(#28) – Play #1 – 1st and 10 – Flacco led Boldin too far over the middle.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 26

Diagnosis: Bad throw.


(#29) – Play #3 – 3rd and 9 – Flacco to Dickson on the sideline, Leonhard gets a hand in and knocks it away.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 27

Diagnosis: Good defense



Drive #9 – Score 27-17 Ravens – 11: 09 3rd qtr.


(#30) – Play #3 – 1st and 10 – Flacco bootlegs, Jets not fooled throws it away under duress and avoids the sack.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 28

Diagnosis: Bad call or bad protection or a combination of the two.


(#31) – Play #5 – 3rd and 9 – Flacco flushed sacked, fumbles. Has to hold onto the ball there but protection is an issue.

Diagnosis: Predictable play call in that situation and the Jets were all over it.



Drive #10 – Score 34-17 Ravens – 6: 36 3rd qtr.


(#32) – Play #10 – 3rd and 12 – Flacco throws to Dickson on the sideline, Dickson looks inside instead.

Joe’s Line: 8 for 29

Diagnosis: Miscommunication? They didn’t need it enough to force anything there.



Drive #11 – Score 34-17 Ravens – 13:15 4th qtr


(#33) – Play #3 – 3rd and 3 – Flacco hits L. Williams over the middle for his first completion since the first quarter.

Joe’s Line: 9 for 30



Drive #12- Score 34-17 Ravens – 9:09 4th qtr.


(#34) – Play #11 – 3rd and 4 – Completion to Dickson on the right side for 10 yards and a first down and the end of the Ravens passing attack for the day.

Joe’s Line: 10 for 31


There were no passes thrown on the Ravens 13th and 14th drives.