Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Joe Flacco: ‘I’m not throwing the ball any different, we’re a better offense’

October 02, 2018 - 9:14 am
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By Joe Schiller 

Through four weeks of regular season football, the Baltimore Ravens rank 10th in total yards per game – averaging 396.8. They hung 451 on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 26-14 win on Sunday night, 363 through the air courtesy of Joe Flacco.

It’s not often in a Ravens-Steelers game that Flacco is the leading passer. Usually, it’s Ben Roethlisberger, who seemingly puts up numbers every week with a potent offensive attack.

Flacco is currently on pace to shatter career records in passing yards and touchdowns. He’s got a bevy of new weapons and Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling seems more creative than ever.

A unit that averaged just 189.4 yards through the air last season has completely turned the page and it shows with a healthy quarterback and legitimate receiving options at his side.

“I’m not throwing the ball any different. We’re a better offense. We are,” Flacco said. “I’m playing better for sure, but throwing the ball and all of that stuff, but offensive football takes all eleven guys.”

Flacco had a full offseason to prepare. The Ravens haven’t been struck with injuries on the offensive line and most importantly – pass catchers are stepping up. John Brown caught three passes for 116 yards and a touchdown and continues to be Flacco’s favorite target.

Willie Snead is working his way to becoming a reliable wide receiver and while Michael Crabtree has struggled with drops, he’s another viable option on the outside.

Since his 27 touchdown, 12 interception season in 2014, Flacco’s put up mediocre numbers. He faced pressure and criticism heading into this season but he didn’t deserve all of the blame for the offenses’ struggles. More times than not, the supporting cast was weak.

Last year’s wide receivers featured Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin – both past their primes. Michael Campanaro couldn’t stay healthy, Breshad Perriman couldn’t stay consistently on the field and a second-year Chris Moore was the top option. Things got desperate to a point where Griff Whalen was a crucial mid-season signing.

Fast forward and there’s a completely different look and feel to this offense.

It’s no surprise that Joe Flacco is playing better. It’s not all because of pressure from Lamar Jackson, it’s the confidence in his new targets.