To the Ravens news...
It is not a strange coincidence that when Flacco’s play improved, the entire offense greatly improved. Remember, dating back to last season, Flacco had a 10-game interception streak that ended against the Oakland Raiders in week five of this season.
In the first nine games of the season, Flacco threw eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. More notably, he only surpassed 200 yards four times. His highest yardage total in that span was in week nine, against the Titans, in which he threw for 261 yards.
Not to mention, Flacco might have had one of the worst games in his career in that span as well. In week three, against the Jaguars, he only completed eight passes, yet, threw two interceptions. Not to mention, he finished the game with 28 total passing yards. Those 28 passing yards set a new career-low for Flacco.
In his last six games, Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns and only two interceptions. In addition, he has failed to reach 200 passing yards in only two games in that span. It is worth noting, in week 15, against the Browns, he recorded a season-high of 288 passing yards.
The Ravens certainly understand the importance of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
“This is kind of the end-all, be-all game,” defensive lineman Brandon Williams said Wednesday.
If they win, they’ll qualify for the AFC playoffs for the first time in three years. If they lose, they’ll need help from other teams to make it and nothing is guaranteed.
“It means so much,” Williams said about Sunday’s season finale.
But if you’re expecting extra pep in the Ravens’ step this week because they’re in a “win and you’re in” scenario, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not that they aren’t excited about the possibilities. They just feel as if they’ve been in the same situation for quite awhile now.
This team, on paper, does not look like a playoff team after all of their injuries. The makeshift offensive line shouldn’t be dominating like they have in recent weeks. The offense shouldn’t be performing like they have been since the bye week. Not to mention, the Ravens haven’t received much help from their receivers, other than Mike Wallace.
The question remains, will this team defeat their divisional rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, and reach the playoffs?
Beginning Jan. 9, Division I football programs are allowed to hire a 10th on-field assistant coach. At some programs, that might mean an internal promotion of a support staffer. At others, it might mean plucking a coach from another school.
At Kentucky, it might mean hiring Ed Reed.
In 2016, Wildcats coach Mark Stoops reportedly reached out to the Ravens legend, whom he coached at Miami, about joining the program’s staff as a defensive backs coach. But Reed had been hired the month before as the Buffalo Bills’ assistant defensive backs coach, and he declined the offer.