Rain, Rain Stay in Baltimore. Joe Flacco Loves It


Joe Flacco may be the only person in Baltimore who doesn't mind all the rain this September.

For the second time in three weeks, a steady rain came down at M&T Bank Stadium. And once again, Flacco excelled despite it.

It's safe to say, Joe Flacco is a mudder.

Flacco completed 25 of 40 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' Week 3 win over the Denver Broncos.

The most excited he was all day, however, was when he ran and slid ono the wet turf for a first down to ice the Ravens' 27-14 victory. Flacco got up and gave a huge fist pump with his teammates slapping his back after another gritty performance.

Asked whether he changes anything when playing the rain, Flacco said, "I don't pay any attention to it," and added that Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg doesn't either.

"That's what's great," Flacco said. "We went out there and threw the ball all around the yard in the first half."

In a downpour in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than a half.

Sunday's rain wasn't as heavy, particularly in the second half, but it still made for a challenging day, as multiple players had trouble holding onto the ball. Not Flacco, though. The Ravens attempted 28 passes to 11 runs in the first half.

Two throws in particular stood out. The first was a 44-yard throw down the right sideline to wide receiver John Brown, which hit the speedster perfectly in stride.

The second, and even more impressive, toss was a key third-quarter strike down the seam to rookie tight end Mark Andrews for 29 yards. Baltimore was facing third-and-8 and Flacco zipped it right over the safety's shoulder and between two other Broncos defenders. The Ravens scored a touchdown three plays later to take a 13-point lead.

"Joe just throws the ball right where it needs to be. It couldn't have been in a better spot," Andrews said. "A lot of teams would go away from throwing the ball during rain like this."

It speaks to the level of trust the Ravens have in Flacco. They didn't hesitate to go pass-heavy against the Bills in Week 1 and they didn't change the game plan when they woke up to rain on the window again this morning.

In talking about whether he likes playing in bad weather, Flacco pointed to that being one of the reasons why the Ravens drafted the big-armed quarterback. Playing in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland isn't like spinning it in sunny California or a dome.

"You can always be dealing with some weather," Flacco said. "So you've got to be able to step up to the plate and do it. It's just part of playing football."

"You always feel that Joe gives you a bit of an advantage in the elements, depending on who you're playing against," Head Coach John Harbaugh added. "That quarterback that we're playing against next week [Ben Roethlisberger] is the same way. But [rain] never really affects Joe too much. That's a big strength of his."

While Flacco certainly deserves a lot of credit, Mornhinweg also called a strong game. He stayed aggressive, kept the Broncos (particularly pass rusher Von Miller) off balance by mixing in the run (even when it wasn't super effective) and dialed up some crafty plays in key situations such as the Ravens' 6-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins in the first quarter.

Baltimore got off to a disastrous start when the Broncos blocked a punt at the end of the Ravens' first offensive drive, then punched it into the end zone on the next play. But safety Eric Weddle and others said it was the way the offense responded with a 48-yard touchdown drive, capped by Collins' touchdown, immediately after that changed the trajectory of the game.

"He likes to score points. He likes to be aggressive," Harbaugh said of Mornhinweg. "You just have to keep going for it. Just let Marty be Marty. Let it rip."

It may be raining seemingly every day in Baltimore, but with Flacco and Mornhinweg, the Ravens are going to keep letting it rip. And as the weather turns colder and potentially even worse later in the season, it's a good sign that it shouldn't dampen the results.

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