As has been documented, Joe Flacco ranks 31st in the NFL in completion percentage with a 49.3 success rate, and the Ravens’ signal caller is just one of four quarterbacks with at least two starts who has completed less than half of his passes. (Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams, Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kerry Collins of the Indianapolis Colts are the others.)
But if Flacco is supposed to be concerned about his off-target passes, he’s not airing those worries, especially after he was asked during his weekly briefing with the media Wednesday on how he could improve his completion percentage.
“I think it’s just a matter of going out there and getting better each week,” Flacco said. “I’ve said it all along: we’re going to have games where we have to win a lot of football games, and at the same time, we have to learn and get better and continue to improve. We’re a young team and a young offense. We’re going to have to go out there and learn each week. Part of that may be having a low completion percentage a couple games. But I think as long as you’re putting pressure on the defense, doing those kinds of things, you can still be successful. In this past game, we moved the ball in the first quarter without having a very good completion percentage. And then, to tell you the truth, after that, we needed to be a little bit better in the second quarter. But still, they rallied around their team a little bit, forced some throwaways. We could have made a couple more plays on a couple of those.”
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In the Ravens’ 17-point victory over the New York Jets, Flacco connected on just 1-of-10 deep passes, finding wide receiver Anquan Boldin for a 28-yard gain in the first quarter. (Flacco’s 52-yard hook-up with running back Ray Rice was more of a short pass that turned into a big gain courtesy of Rice’s YAC, or yards after catch.)
Flacco conceded that he could have inflated his completion percentage by seeking shorter, safer options, but he asserted that the offense is always looking to stretch the field.
“But we’re a team that attacks downfield and takes some shots,” he said. “Sometimes when that’s not working and going your way, then you end up with some incompletions. We can probably take some more quick game and things like that to help us out.”