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Ravens-Texans: All Eyes on Flacco Today

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If Flacco gets out-Quarterbacked by TJ Yates, me and Terrell Suggs will never forgive him. Neither will his wallet.

This week Joe Flacco got a little ornery with the media. He joked about essentially feeling picked on because in his view, the media only respects guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady who rarely ever run the ball. So I guess you could say that Flacco is playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He’s also playing for a new contract which was a point of contention between he and the Ravens after last season.

From my perspective, although Flacco is one of the most successful “new” QBs in terms of team wins and playoff appearances, it’s clear that Flacco is up and down not just game to game but also during games. There’s one Flacco that is patient and makes good, quick decisions, and there’s another Flacco that slowly moves through progressions and is sometimes forced to throw (with a slow release) before surveying the entire field.

I’m certainly no fan of the Raven’s offensive coordinator Cam Cameron although from what I’ve seen this year his play calling isn’t quite as disastrous as last year. They’ve made good use of Ray Rice who is about as versatile a back you could ever dream about. And Torrey Smith has great chemistry with Flacco (including anticipating ill-placed balls) pretty much erasing any doubts about the team’s decision to release TJ Hous, Derrick Mason and Donte Stallworth. And Flacco, to his credit, has been less jittery and has been recovering well from bad series.

That makes me feel pretty good about the Ravens getting a win over the Texans who, for all they try to mix it up in the passing game, are fairly one-note. They’re also heavily dependent on one really really good running back who has an upright running style and should absorb some serious blows today with the way Suggs and company have been playing up front. On defense, the Texans are solid but Flacco’s Ravens are 9-1 this season against top 10 defenses. I will be curious to see if the Texans can get to Flacco early and often. If so…well… so yeah, again, all eyes will be on Flacco. Well, all MY eyes anyway.

Speaking of Suggs and the Ravens defense, their camaraderie is always impressive but this year it’s been particularly touching. Maybe because Lewis and Reed are right at the end of their careers. Or maybe it’s because Pollard seems to have finally found a home and Webb is coming into his own. Not to mention that Suggs play has rivaled the 49ers Justin Smith. But listening to the guys talk all this week about how meaningful it would be for all of them to win together with this group, a loss today would leave a big gaping hole in this unit. It would be a HUGE missed opportunity.

It would also ruin my much-anticipated Harbaugh Super Bowl!





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