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Joe Flacco Is Getting Hit Too Much


Quarterback Joe Flacco had another rough game Sunday in New York.

He finished with a season-low 54.0 quarterback rating after going 25-of-44 for 248 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Both Jets quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick had higher quarterback ratings Sunday.

On the season, Flacco ranks 29th in the league in passer rating (75.4). According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he's been the 28th-best quarterback in the league.

So what's up?

On Monday, a reporter asked Head Coach John Harbaugh whether there's something wrong with Flacco's fundamentals, as Flacco has at times thrown off his back foot.

At one point during Sunday's game, Flacco rolled to his right and fell to the turf while throwing a third-down incompletion. He had a rusher coming from his left, but it didn't appear that he was touched.

"I think a lot of that is the fact that he's getting hit too much," Harbaugh said. "He has to focus on his fundamentals and all those kinds of things. He's making good throws and we have to keep him clean."

Flacco has been sacked 14 times this season, which is tied for 12th most in the league. But that's not always the best measuring stick of overall pressure.

According to PFF, Flacco has seen a good amount of pressure, but is not among the league leaders. He's been hit while throwing six times (tied for third most in the NFL) and has been under pressure on 35.1 percent of his drop-backs (10th most). He has completed 46.9 percent of his passes under pressure (17th), and has a 58.3 percent accuracy percentage (19th).

There are multiple reasons why the Ravens* *offense shut down in the second half, when Flacco was just 10-of-22 for 48 yards.

Harbaugh said communication wasn't a problem, but route depth was in some instances. On Flacco's second interception, it appeared that wide receiver Breshad Perriman should have been further up the field. The pass sailed over his head.

"That second half was about as tough as it gets for our offense," Harbaugh said. "We just have to be much better than that.

"They played a lot of man coverage. We got some pressures, we picked them up for the most part. We had some opportunities to hit some throws that would have really hurt them, but when we had opportunities to do it, we didn't hold up quite in protection. And we didn't always get open like we needed to. So that's on us."

The offensive line should get a boost after the bye, as rookie left tackle and No. 6 overall pick Ronnie Stanley (foot) and right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) could be back to face the Steelers on Nov. 6. If so, that would bump rookie Alex Lewis back inside to left guard.

On Sunday in New York, the Ravens had two backup offensive linemen (John Urschel and Ryan Jensen) and one (Lewis) playing out of position. Flacco was hit four times and sacked once.

"We've got to play with the guys we've got, so it doesn't even matter," Harbaugh said. "I'm excited to get some guys back, I can tell you that. That's going to help us a lot."

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