NFL Week 3 Sunday Standouts: Offense - Ben Linsey
After a strong Week 1 showing and a dreadful Week 2 performance, Joe Flacco delivered his best game of the season for the Ravens against the Denver Broncos in Week 3. Flacco got the ball out quickly with an average time to throw of 2.36 seconds which was third-lowest among quarterbacks Sunday. He also successfully pushed the ball downfield, as he recorded 73 yards from deep passes, which was the sixth-best mark among quarterbacks in Week 3.
Making rapid decisions and firing passes out quickly is the best way to alleviate pressure from the offensive line. In their two home games, Joe Flacco has looked comfortable in the offense and taken full advantage of his upgraded secondary receiving options.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, there’s a strong sentiment among members of the league’s competition committee that the controversial roughing-the-passer penalties need to be applied differently.
But members of the committee don’t necessarily agree, as Maske cites people with knowledge of the deliberations saying the interpretations of those penalties may not be “consistent with how the league wants to see the roughing-the-passer rule enforced.”
These roughing the passer penalties have been condemned by players and coaches on both sides of the ball. Clearly, the league has gone too far in their attempt to protect quarterbacks. Often it is physically impossible for defenders to avoid drawing penalties, even when making clean football plays. Intent to injure, or lack thereof, must be taken into account.
Four of their next five games are on the road. That includes three straight, and that streak begins Sunday night at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by away games against the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans.
In the previous three seasons the Ravens have won only eight road games. They’ve played only one this season, losing to the Cincinnati Bengals by 11 points in a game they slow-walked through for the first two quarters.
That’s been a major problem for the Ravens on the road. They come out lethargicly and fall behind early. Even when they catch up, they can’t hold a lead for numerous reasons that include failing to convert on a key third down, missing a key tackle or lacking playmakers on both sides of the ball.
As always, the key to winning on the road is starting fast. Judging by their game plan against the Buccaneers, Pittsburgh will stack the line and blitz consistently. Coordinator Mornhinweg must draw up passing plays that put Flacco into an early rhythm on Sunday night.
Change Is Here. Ravens Have a Dangerous Offense - John Eisenberg
Through three games, Baltimore is ranked No. 13 in total yards, No. 9 in passing yards and No. 5 in scoring.
Yes, the defense is also off to a strong start, having allowed the fewest yards in the league and no second-half touchdowns. But the offense is making history, becoming the NFL’s first ever to convert 12 straight red-zone opportunities into touchdowns to start a season.
While excelling in the red zone is a distinct skill, I think 12-for-12 is mostly reflective of just being better on offense, period. Asked to explain it, quarterback Joe Flacco said, “We’ve got good playmakers. We put a lot of pressure on the defense with the guys we have out there.”
“The offense answered, and really, that was the tone setter for us as a team, to have them answer for us and really get us back to even,” Weddle said. “It was big for our offense to answer.”
Baltimore’s 13 plays of 20 yards or more are tied for the 7th most in the league. Their 46-percent third down conversion rate is 6th best. And these numbers can improve further when dynamic rookie tight end Hayden Hurst returns from injury.