With Steve Smith Sr. down, the Ravens were left stranded at the wide receiver position. Defenses knew this and stacked the box, punishing the run game, and forcing Flacco to throw at receivers Ravens fans didn't know a week prior. And Flacco spoke about it with FOXSports Jason Garcia,
"I don't know if it's something that it needs, but yes, you see what speed does. It does a lot for football teams. You see what the Steelers are doing with speed that they've added over the last couple years. It definitely makes a difference out there. I'm not saying that it's something that we need, but when we've had it here, it's definitely made a little bit of a difference. So, it helps."
In this instance Flacco is talking about speed. Or how Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed."
But this is more than just speed. This is about a team that doesn't seem to ever have multiple talents through the air. The last time you can even say so was 2012. A burner in Torrey Smith, a possession monster in Anquan Boldin, and a vertical threat with great hands Dennis Pitta. And that season they... Oh yeah, WON A SUPER-BOWL. Not discounting the run game that season, but the Ravens had some good weapons.
Consistently since then, the Ravens have left their superstar franchise quarterback weaponless. One season Jacoby Jones was a starting receiver. Then after Torrey Smith left, they bring in a single weapon of Steve Smith Sr. Forgetting to address the needs more than with one single player. The cap struggles are obviously not helping, as Ozzie Newsome hasn't exactly hit on his last few years, but regardless the effort level's clearly not showing.
Joe Flacco has every right to be jealous that he doesn't have any super-star receivers. Joe Flacco has every right to be jealous when the pundits bash him, meanwhile Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, and Andy Dalton can all have their safety blankets bailing them out. Joe Flacco should be jealous, and the Baltimore Ravens need to figure it out in the next few years. Hopefully by then the AFC will be changed around beyond seeing the same three quarterbacks in the AFC Championship.