Baltimore Ravens fans can expect quarterback Joe Flacco to pass for more than 4,000 yards for the first time in his career next season and lead the team back to the playoffs as division champs. The Ravens even stand a good chance of ranking as a top 10 offense for 2014. The influence of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak should be significant, but marked improvement doesn’t mean All Pro stats. Sorry fantasy owners. Don’t set yourself up for failure by banking on big stats for passing touchdowns.
Flacco, for his career, has averaged 20 passing touchdowns a season and is a 60.2 percent passer. Kubiak’s offense, over the same time, has averaged 23 touchdowns per season and a 63.5 percent completion percentage. In other words, Kubiak’s past performance does not indicate a major transformation for Flacco. Expect more consistent quarterback play and greater balance with the Ravens running game. Flacco’s end of year passing stats can reasonably be projected to include 4,100 yards and 23 touchdowns.
For anyone deflated by the realization that Kubiak doesn’t bring an all-world passing attack to Baltimore, don’t be. Kubiak’s Houston Texans, from 2008 through last year, had an average offensive ranking of seventh in the league. In the team’s 2012 AFC South-winning, 12-4 season, the Texans ranked seventh. Ravens fans might have a few good memories of their own from 2012, and a return to form for Kubiak and Flacco means the Ravens can consider last season's 8-8 record an anomaly.
Early prediction: Ravens win AFC North with 12-4 record. Pundits call Flacco an elite game-manager. Flacco says something awkward accepting his second Superbowl MVP trophy.