Quarterback Joe Flacco is really sneaky these days.
Head Coach John Harbaugh's decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens' 34-yard line Sunday in Miami, and Flacco's resulting push forward for 2 yards, has been dubbed by some pundits as having "saved their season."
It's nothing new, however. Flacco has had success on quarterback sneaks all season long.
Flacco has carried the ball 12 times in third-and-1 or fourth-and-1 situations this year. Those were presumably all sneaks. He has converted 11 of those 12 times.
It's the highest success rate of any quarterback in the league with at least six attempts. Oakland's Derek Carr is 5-for-5 and New Orleans' Drew Brees is 2-for-2 this season.
Compare it to last year when Flacco ran the ball in those situations just two times – total.
So does Flacco like quarterback sneaks?
"I don't mind it when they're on the half-yard line – at least I get credit for a touchdown. That's pretty cheap. That's a pretty cheap way to get a touchdown," Flacco said with a laugh.
"But hey, it's part of [the job], and if that's the best way for us to get the first down or to do whatever, then I'm all for doing it."
Flacco has gotten two "cheapies" the past two weeks. He plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out to give the Ravens a 28-13 lead late in the fourth quarter in Miami. He dove in from 1 yard away against the Chargers to give Baltimore a 10-point fourth-quarter lead it eventually lost.
Flacco seems to have the perfect makeup for quarterback sneaks. He has a big 6-foot-6, 245-pound body, and he isn't afraid to sacrifice it.
"Joe is a big, strong guy, and he is tough and he is courageous and he is willing to slam it in there," Harbaugh said. "Joe does not fear. He's not shy for his physical well-being, and that's always been part of Joe."
Harbaugh also gave Flacco credit for being smart about when to go ahead with the quarterback sneak and when to option out of it if the opponent loads up the box to defend it.
But, as he often does, Flacco didn't give himself the kudos.
Watching the play on tape, it's clear that the Ravens offensive line buried the Dolphins off the snap. The Ravens' overall improvement in the trenches has assuredly helped.
"I am a believer that it has nothing to do with me," he said. "There may be one sneak every year that maybe you had a little something to do with getting it, but it's all about Jeremy [Zuttah], K.O. [Kelechi Osemele], Marshal [Yanda], all those guys, pushing guys forward.
"Hey, shoot, I put my head down and close my eyes and move forward – that's all I do."