Denver Broncos: Joe Flacco proving why acquiring him was a bad idea
The Denver Broncos took a calculated risk by trading for Joe Flacco. The move has not paid dividends at all for the team in 2019.
The Denver Broncos took a calculated, reasonable risk by trading a fourth-round draft pick for former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
The Ravens were moving on permanently to the Lamar Jackson era, and Flacco’s time there had very clearly come to an end.
The Broncos were unhappy with the results from Case Keenum in his lone season with the team, so they shipped him off to Washington and brought in Flacco, whose experience in playoff games and big arm enticed John Elway and new head coach Vic Fangio.
As the old adage goes, Flacco is a guy who gives you “the best chance to win”.
Only that hasn’t been the case. Not for a more talented Ravens team which beat the Broncos last season with Flacco at QB before ultimately benching him for Lamar Jackson, and not for the Broncos who are 2-5 and about to sell at the halfway point of the season.
Although I had warmed up to the idea between February and September of Flacco quarterbacking the Broncos, it’s clear my gut instinct when the idea was being floated around back in January was the correct one.
Through seven games with the Broncos in 2019, Flacco has a less-than-stellar resumé in the making.
- 16 points per game (29th in NFL)
- 235.4 passing yards per game (19th)
- 6 TD passes in 230 attempts // 2.6% touchdown percentage (29th)
- 23 sacks (5th most in the NFL)
- 5 interceptions, 3 fumbles lost
The results of Flacco’s ineptitude have had a ripple effect on the entire team.
His inability to identify pressure and a hot receiver pre-snap has cost the team on third downs and in the red zone, where they rank 29th and 26th in the NFL respectively.
His inability to move in the pocket has caused every Broncos fan in the world to question whether or not this team has assembled an even halfway competent offensive line. The line is not as talented as it needs to be, but they are offering Flacco time to make throws. Look at these snap-to-sack times in the Broncos’ recent game vs. Kansas City:
The general rule is, anything over three seconds is on the quarterback. And we know on these plays that Flacco is not scrambling around trying to buy time. He’s simply sitting in the pocket, offering defenders a free shot at a quarterback who literally set the ball down in the middle of the field at one point during this game.
It’s a wonder Flacco has only lost three fumbles this season with the amount of time he’s held onto the ball.
So what’s the point in saying all of this?
Well, the point ultimately is this:
The Broncos cannot continue on with the Joe Flacco charade.
I’m done with it. Broncos Country is done with it.
Flacco seems like a good guy. He seems like a smart guy who understands football and he’s accomplished a lot in the NFL.
With that being said, his time is up. The Broncos are spinning their wheels trying to make veteran retreads work. They are ironically putting everyone’s jobs in jeopardy by putting in guys who are supposedly safe bets to operate an offense.
At this point, it doesn’t even seem the Broncos need a spark. They need competence behind the center. They need someone who is not going to wilt when pressure is bearing down. They need someone who is going to be able to extend drives with their legs when need be, someone who can make simple reads and find open receivers on basic plays.
Could it possibly be that the veteran of 11 seasons, Joe Flacco, is missing basic reads? No, it has to be the offensive line’s fault!
And this is happening throughout pretty much every game. It’s part of why we’re seeing the offense go stagnant for literally quarters at a time. It’s part of the reason they can’t respond to a big defensive stop with even a slightly sustained drive. It’s part of the reason why touchdown drives are in low supply and field goal attempts are the norm.
The fact of the matter is, at this point, the acquisition of Flacco looks like a mistake by the Broncos, and the only way to correct it is by putting in Drew Lock as soon as possible.
Will Denver do it? That’s another topic entirely.