As I mentioned in my "Seven Points" post on Monday night, it was a tale of two Flaccos in the Ravens' 10-9 win over the Jets.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco impressed with his toughness, bouncing back and playing fearlessly after taking a huge, head-banging hit on the Ravens' first offensive play. He also frustrated with his inconsistency, struggling with his accuracy and decision-making on early downs then making all the right moves when he needed to move the sticks on third down.
The good: Flacco made a trio of impressive throws to tight end Todd Heap that he could not routinely make in his first two seasons. In the first quarter, he found Heap, who was running a deep in route, between three Jets defenders for a chain-moving 16-yard gain. On that same drive, he fired a bullet up the left seam to Heap for what should have been a touchdown, but Heap couldn't haul it in. Late in the fourth quarter, on Cam Cameron's ballsy first-down call, Flacco threw a similar pass to Heap, and that time around, the big tight end made a leaping grab for a 35-yard gain.
The bad: On his first pass attempt, Flacco took a three-step drop and needed to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry. But Flacco hesitated when Heap, his first (and maybe only) read, couldn't get open off the line of scrimmage and he quickly got drilled by a pair of Jets defenders. Thankfully, the defense bailed him out after the ensuing fumble. Then, at the end of the first half, Flacco missed a wide-open Le'Ron McClain in the end zone. Thankfully, Willis McGahee bailed him out by punching it in on third down.
I'm not sure what Flacco saw on that second-quarter interception, but it wasn't an open receiver. He tried to force the ball to Anquan Boldin, foolishly lobbing the ball from his back foot into heavy coverage, and Antonio Cromartie made him pay. Flacco was lucky Cromartie didn't turn it into a pick-six.
Flacco completed 20 of his 38 attempts for 248 yards and an interception -- giving him a 62.2 passer rating. Forget the stats, though. When you put it all together -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- Flacco put forth a solid performance in a playoff-type atmosphere against the NFL's top-ranked defense from a year ago.