Oct 2, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) pressured by Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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The Baltimore Ravens have fired Marc Trestman. He was their biggest problem, but he was far from the only problem:
Marc Trestman was the Baltimore Ravens biggest problem. After establishing a running game in the first quarter he obviously went away from it. He calls plays that are as predictable as Johnny Manziel’s life decisions. The Ravens productivity has disappeared for long stretches this season. Make no mistake, he’s been problem number one for Baltimore.
The Ravens have other problems too. They have talented players that are not putting up winning performances. John Harbaugh is making some laughable decisions. He’s doing things a veteran head coach shouldn’t do. Last week it was accepting a penalty that gave the Raiders new life. This week it was mismanaging time outs and calling the world’s worst fake field goal attempt.
This article is not defending Trestman. You cannot defend him. The Ravens now former offensive coordinator takes awful to an entirely new level. It’s like ordering a beautiful prime rib and getting slippery tofu instead. I’m not defending Trestman, but other people deserve blame too.
Sep 25, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
1. Joe Flacco Must Step Up
Joe Flacco is playing like a shell of what he was. Something is not right. Flacco is not stepping into his throws. He checks things down even when he has a chance to make a play down the field. Either he’s blind to open receivers or he doesn’t have the confidence to pull the trigger.
Flacco isn’t extending plays with his feet. He was never a runner but he has the ability to roll out and make a play. Flacco is making Tom Brady look mobile at this point. Flacco is not stepping up in the pocket. The second he gets pressure he throws it. Flacco actually didn’t play horribly against the Redskins. He gave Breshad Perriman two touchdowns, Perriman just didn’t take them. Flacco has struggled but he has had some flashes of his former self. That is one encouraging thing.
Flacco has the resume of an elite quarterback. However right now he’s having problems that his rookie self would laugh at. Flacco is missing throws he never would have missed in the past. Remember the throw to Kyle Juszczyk in the Raiders game? That was the worst example, but it’s far from the first.
Jun 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive guard Marshall Yanda (73) is blocked by offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (77) during minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
2. Offensive Line Musical Chairs
When the offensive line is banged up, good things aren’t always going to happen. Ronnie Stanley has missed two consecutive games. Alex Lewis had to move to left tackle yesterday, and John Urschel played his first football of the season. Then Rick Wagner left the game and Marshall Yanda had to move to right tackle. When this happened, the Ravens put Ryan Jensen in there.
The offensive line didn’t give Joe Flacco a lot of help at critical points in the game. The Ravens offensive line has been problematic all season; Flacco has been sacked 11 times so far. Yesterday the Redskins sacked Flacco three times, and they almost had a few more.
The offensive line has had it’s problems but they were run blocking well yesterday. If Trestman would have stuck to the ground game, the offensive line would have been less troubling. I’m sorry to bring up Trestman. It’s just that I’m saltier than the tortilla chip at the bottom of the bag.
Sep 21, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a penalty flag thrown by a official during a game between the Buffalo Bills and the San Diego Chargers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. San Diego beats Buffalo 22 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens have been their own worst enemy all season long. It seems like every time the Ravens get something going, a penalty takes it away. When you shoot yourself in the foot, nobody else is to blame. The Ravens have suffered from a lack of discipline. The Ravens need to play sharper football; they need to not do the things that beat them.
When you score a touchdown and then your taunting costs the team, it’s a problem. When an offensive lineman gets a little jumpy and has a false start it’s a problem. Penalties kill drives. This is a real reason why the Ravens waste so many opportunities.
The moral of the story here is that Marc Trestman wasn’t the Ravens only problem. The offense was horrendous for a few reasons. Trestman was an ineffective offensive coordinator. Getting rid of him was absolutely the right decision. That being said, there are other Ravens who need to be held accountable.