Baltimore's decision to trade up for Jackson leaves Flacco on shaky ground for the future, though it probably won't threaten his status as the Week 1 starter for 2018. He's coming off back-to-back seasons averaging less than 6.5 yards per pass attempt, and he has non-guaranteed base salaries of $18.5 million for 2019 and $20.25 million for 2020 , per OverTheCap. Harbaugh suggested that the Ravens plan to roll with Flacco as their starter for at least one more year, but the offseason additions of Jackson and Robert Griffin suggest that the 33-year-old will have a shorter leash than he did in the past. Baltimore also has prioritized pass-catching talent this offseason, signing wideouts John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, then drafting tight end Hayden Hurst at No. 25 overall.
Harbaugh's expectation feels overly optimistic, as it isn't entirely clear that the team's new wideout duo of Michael Crabtree and John Brown will be an upgrade on Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin. The Ravens do figure to add more talent at wideout and tight end before Week 1, having already shown interest in restricted free agents Willie Snead and Cameron Meredith. Flacco started all 16 games last year, but it did seem that a back injury from the summer impacted him early in the campaign. He sat out all of training camp and the preseason, and then threw for less than 250 yards each of his first eight games. Flacco did improve at the end of the year, accounting for 10 touchdowns (including one rushing) over the final five weeks while averaging 253.2 passing yards. A normal, healthy offseason would help him build trust with Crabtree and Brown, as well as any other receivers the Ravens might acquire before training camp.
Flacco completed 25 of 47 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Bengals.
Flacco picked things up after halftime, but completed only 5 of 19 passes for 28 yards in the first half. The spark was a six-yard touchdown to receiver Chris Moore at the end of the first half, set up by Moore's 87-yard kick return. The Ravens offense looked like a different team after that, with the only real blemish being a redzone pick-six on a pass bobbled by Moore. Despite the abysmal first half, the veteran signal caller continued his strong play down the stretch, but ultimately fell short of carrying Baltimore to the postseason.
Flacco completed 29 of 38 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns during Saturday's 23-16 win over the Colts.
With Baltimore nursing a three-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, Flacco sold the play fake and found tight end Maxx Williams in the flat for a four-yard score. The final stat line might not look like much, but it amounted to Flacco's best performance of the season from a quarterback-rating perspective. After running mostly cold earlier in the season, Flacco has been solid during the Ravens' last six games, of which Baltimore has won five. Flacco has tossed eight touchdowns to just two picks in that span, but takes on a Cincinnati team to close that season that gave him fits in Week 1.
Flacco completed 26 of 42 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown, adding four carries for three yards and another score, in Sunday's 27-10 win over the Browns.
Flacco's three best passing yardage totals of the season have all occurred the past three weeks, a stretch in which he's also produced three of his five multi-touchdown games this season. The Ravens finally seem to have find a reasonable balance between taking shots down the field and settling for checkdowns, though the recent outburst admittedly has coincided with a favorable stretch of matchups. Flacco gets another soft opponent in a Week 16 home game against the Colts, albeit with the possibility of weather impacting the game.
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