In the 47-3 win over the Buffalo Bills, multiple players had standout performances. One player stood above the rest, however. The Ravens most valuable player was none other than quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco entered the season with all eyes closely watching him, and in Week 1 he certainly delivered.
Flacco started the game strong, leading the offense on an 80-yard scoring drive. On the very first play, Flacco hit tight end Nick Boyle for a 25-yard gain. Flacco immediately went back to Boyle for an 11-yard gain and another first down. After a fumbled handoff to Alex Collins and an offensive holding penalty, Baltimore was faced with a 2nd-and-26. Last season, Flacco and the Ravens offense was rarely able to overcome such situations. Flacco did not flinch this time, however, as he rolled out to the right and threw across his body to the opposite side of the field for a 29-yard conversion to wide receiver John Brown. The drive ended with an 8-yard touchdown run from Collins.
Flacco threw for three touchdowns on the day, one each to Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead IV. On the first passing touchdown, Flacco and Brown both displayed good awareness to find the opening between zone coverage in the back of the end zone. Flacco was able to float a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone for Crabtree, who made an impressive catch and toe tap to get both feet in bounds for the score. Snead was next to score on a quick pass between defenders from Flacco. Flacco exuded confidence in his new wide receivers and it payed off with a touchdown for all three.
Flacco was able to hit several different targets against the Bills, distributing the ball equally through the air. Crabtree, Snead, Brown, Boyle, Maxx Williams, Mark Andrews, Chris Moore, Collins and Javorius Allen all had catches while Flacco was in the game. Flacco displayed confidence and mobility in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield while taking the check down when necessary.
With three touchdowns and zero interceptions, Flacco was in total control of the offense while slicing through Buffalo’s secondary. Lamar Jackson replaced Flacco in the third quarter after the game was put out of reach. Flacco could not have had a much better start to his eleventh season.