SB Nation got the chance to sit down and talk with Football Outsiders as they release their Football Outsiders Almanac for the 2015 NFL Season. Robert Weintraub from Football Outsiders answered all of our questions as the expert. First up was to see how they felt about quarterback Joe Flacco.
Under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, the Ravens look to have the most potent offense they've ever fielded. They have added weapons in Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams to the young receiving corps led by veteran Steve Smith's final ride.
Q: Joe Flacco had one of his best seasons in 2014. with the addition of Marc Trestman as the new OC and the continuity of the offense, do you expect that Flacco will top 4,000 yards and be a Pro Bowl quarterback in 2015
Our projection system (ironically named "KUBIAK") has Joe Cool right at the 4k-yard milestone, though the Trestman X-factor leaves some room for debate on that. A drop off in counting numbers is possible but isn’t likely to be severe--I’d worry more about a drop off in efficiency, which seems almost certain without Kubiak in the mix. The key to Flacco’s season will be how well he manages that, given the inexperience of and injuries to his pass-catching corps. The key ingredient may not be Trestman at all but the offensive line--if they can maintain last year’s excellence, the offense should hum along nicely regardless of who is calling the plays and who is catching the passes. If there is injury or fall off up front, the unit could well tumble back down toward 2013-levels of ineffectiveness.
Robert makes an excellent point. If the Ravens are able to stay consistent up front, Flacco will have more than enough time to make plays and stay upright. When rushed, we typically see a Flacco that isn't his best and can sometimes be pushed into making terrible decisions with the football. Add to it that the running game will greatly benefit from the continuity up front and take more of the pressure off Flacco and you have a recipe for great things.