Monday, February 22, 2010

A look at Flacco's 2009 season

Joe Flacco's potentially stellar 2009 season was disrupted by a foot injury suffered in week 6.

Toward the end of the season and during the playoffs, it felt like many Ravens fans had a change of heart when it came to Joe Flacco. On message boards and sports talk shows, fans wondered if Flacco was good -- or healthy -- enough to lead this team to the promised land. (Keep in mind this was also combined with much bitching and moaning about the Ravens WR corps for most of the season.)

My take is that Flacco is definitely good enough to take this team to the Super Bowl. I don't doubt it for a minute. Here's why...

The injury that Flacco suffered in the Week 6 game at Minnesota (he had his foot stepped on twice) affected him for the rest of the season. All you have to do is look at the numbers:

Flacco before injury (6 games):
12 TD
279 YPG

Flacco after injury (10 games):
9 TD (4 of which came in the CHI game)
193 YPG

Flacco in playoffs (2 games):
0 TD
111 YPG

That is a huge difference before/after the injury he suffered. Had Flacco not been injured he was on pace for 31 TD, 13 INT and 4,352 yards. That's on pace with Drew Brees, the MVP of the Super Bowl -- and with a WR corps that many Ravens fans demand be blown up this offseason. And they're going to get their wish. Rumors are swirling that the Ravens are currently negotiating a contract extension with Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin.

So the verdict is undeniable. The injury Flacco suffered in week 6 disrupted what could have been an even better 2009 season for Flacco. He looked worse after the injury than he did as a rookie in 2008, with less poise in the pocket and little ability to move outside of it.

The biggest improvement the Ravens can benefit from next season is a healthy Joe Flacco, regardless of whether they are able to trade for Boldin. When healthy, Joe Flacco is a pro bowl caliber QB, as he showed during the first 6 games of the season.

So relax, Ravens fans. It's still OK to be wacko for Flacco.

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