Name: Joe Flacco
HT / WT: 6'6", 245 lbs
Experience: 5th season
2011 Stats: 16 games (16 starts); 312 completions; 542 attempts; 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Last Week: 22/42, 232 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in 24-23 loss to Philadelphia Eagles
Scouting Report: In the offseason, Flacco boldy claimed that he was the NFL's best quarterback. While that obviously isn't true, it does highlight one of Flacco's best attributes: confidence. By now, Patriots fans know the scouting report on Flacco: big, strong-armed quarterback who can be a bit streaky, but can make any throw. The Ravens are a running team, as Flacco has pointed out on numerous occassions, so he doesn't get to put up the stats that Brady, Brees, or Rodgers does. While that might be true to some extent, Flacco is more of a hit or miss passer. What does that mean? The Patriots will need to find a way to limit the big plays against Flacco. Flacco is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the NFL when it comes to rolling out, being elusive, and keeping plays alive. The Patriots struggled in that area last week against the Cardinals. Several times they flushed Kevin Kolb out of the pocket, only to see him keep the play alive and make a play down the field. Against the Ravens, the Patriots will need to stay disciplined in their containment - generate pressure while not overcommiting to the rush and opening up a lane to escape for Flacco. He will make you pay.
What They're Saying: Baltimore Beatdown looks at keys to victory for the Ravens against the Patriots, and says that quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron must be on the same page:
Here in Baltimore the chemistry needs to be between offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and and quarterback Joe Flacco. In the times that the Ravens struggle on offense it seems pretty obvious that Joe and Cam just aren't feeling it together. So, the first key to a Ravens victory on Sunday night will be Joe and Cam finding a comfort zone between them in which both of their strengths can be a virtue because no matter how good each may be on his own, they can not coexist without working with each other.
Bottom Line: Joe Flacco might not be a top five NFL quarterback, but is certainly one of the league's most confident, and certainly doesn't lack in arm strength. The key to beating Flacco and the Ravens will be for the defense to maintain containment on the edge, and limit the big downfield plays.