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Ravens at Washington: The Joe Flacco Days

The last meeting between Baltimore and Washington was in 2016

Wild Card Round - San Diego Chargers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Before the days of “Big Truss”, “L-Freaky”, and the new era Baltimore Ravens, there was Joe Flacco.

Flacco’s tenure as a Raven never ceases to garner a mixed bag of opinions. We can't forget that this man led the Ravens to their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history. Flacco still remains the franchise leader in both passing yards and touchdowns, was a Super Bowl MVP, and held an overall 108-78 record (playoffs included) as a starter for the Ravens. However, for justifiable reasons many naysayers existed, still exist, and consider Flacco to be a career-average quarterback.

The Week 5 matchup between Baltimore and the then-Washington Redskins in 2016 serves as a testament as to why such frustration persisted for so many years during the Joe Flacco tenure.

Just to give you a little flashback, in 2016 Tony Romo was still the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, while Sam Bradford led the Minnesota Vikings. Oh, how the scope of the NFL has drastically changed over the course of four years.

In an underwhelming 16-10 loss to Washington, Flacco threw for a measly 210 yards, a touchdown, and only completed 65% of his passes. He also averaged 4.6 yards per attempt.

The Ravens running back room was led by the likes of Terrance West and Javorius “Buck” Allen. Doesn't this seem like forever ago? West led the team in rushing by gaining 95 yards off of 11 carries.

In terms of Baltimore’s tight end and receiving rooms, the likes of Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr., Dennis Pitta, and Crockett Gillmore were the team's leading pass catchers. Both Wallace and Pitta led the team in receiving and finished with seven receptions whilst gaining 63 yards and 59 yards, respectively. Gillmore also added a touchdown.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

On the defensive side of things, the main memory that comes to mind is the C.J. Mosley interception off of Kirk Cousins while the Washington was deep in their own territory. Mosley appeared to have a clear path to the end zone until he fumbled the ball forward, which resulted in a touchback rather than a Ravens go-ahead touchdown.

Overall, the Baltimore defense did well in limiting the scoring of Washington’s offense. With the exception of a few big plays by Cousins as well as some defensive mistakes, the Baltimore defense had a pretty solid day. The outcome of this game can’t be blamed on the defense.

Hoping to muster up a comeback (in typical Flacco fashion) with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, a deep touchdown pass to (sigh) Breshad Perriman was called back due to Perriman being unable to get both feet down. As a result, Flacco and the Ravens failed to convert on fourth down, which subsequently resulted in a loss.

Another interesting fact to keep in mind is that this was Marc Trestman’s last game as an NFL coach. Trestman was fired the very next day, hasn't seen an NFL job since, and has bounced around between the CFL and the XFL.

I remember the sting of this loss being especially painful because the Ravens, as they did way too often during the Flacco-era, played down to their competition and suffered a loss as a result.

Flash forward four years to 2020. The Ravens are looking as good as they ever have in franchise history. Despite last week’s loss against the Chiefs, the Ravens still remain one of the best teams in the NFL, and I expect an absolute beatdown against the Washington Football Team as they travel to Landover, MD to commence the first Battle of the Beltway since their 2016 loss.

Expect Lamar Jackson and his Ravens to come out fast, fiery, and angry. Although the Ravens are 13-point favorites for this game, I foresee an absolute blowout as the Dwayne Haskins-led offense won't be able to do much of anything against the Baltimore defense.

Anticipate a different story come Sunday than what was seen in 2016.

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Will the Ravens cover the-13 point spread?

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