Jun 12, 2018; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to throw during minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
When the Baltimore Ravens traded back into the first round to draft former Lousiville QB Lamar Jackson, the narratives wrote themselves. The end was nigh for Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Jackson was going to take the job for himself and it added the excitement that the Ravens offense had so sorely been lacking. That would have been great for pageviews around the NFL, but based on what we’ve seen so far this summer, and from Flacco in the second half of 2017, we’re not quite there yet.
Yes, Jackson is absolutely the expected future franchise quarterback in Baltimore.
Yes, Flacco’s time will come to an end.
It’s just a case of it being more likely that the change happens ahead of the 2019 season rather than now.
Flacco against the Rams
It may only be preseason, but what we saw from Flacco against the Los Angeles Rams in the Ravens second preseason game was solid, and more importantly, featured throws downfield. From his eight dropbacks, Flacco scrambled once and threw the ball away on another snap. On those six plays where he threw a targeted pass, he completed five for 71 yards and a touchdown. The key takeaway though was that half of those targeted passes travelled 10-plus yards downfield, with Flacco going 2-for-3 for 42 yards. From a limited amount of work, he produced a PFF passing grade of 74.5 on the night.
Flacco 2017 second half goes against the narrative
On one hand, you don’t want to put too much stock into a preseason performance that consisted of less than 10 dropbacks, but on the other, the Flacco we saw against the Rams was not dissimilar to the quarterback we saw in the second half of 2017. If you look at Flacco’s passing grade for the full year, he ranks 20th among all quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks. Flacco dealt with a back injury throughout the summer, so if you look at just the first seven weeks of the season using week-by-week filters in PFF Premium Stats, he ranked 27th among the 32 quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks, with a PFF passing grade of just 61.1.
When you change it up and look at just his final nine games of the year, Flacco ranked 11th with…