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2. Will Joe Flacco's road struggles end?

By most measures, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is having a respectable season. He's completed 59.5 percent of his throws for 1,837 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions for an 84.0 quarterback rating. He's on pace to pass for a career-high 4,198 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. However, he's a vastly different quarterback on the road than he is in the much friendlier environment of M&T Bank Stadium. On the road, Flacco is 1-2 this season and has completed only 50 percent of his throws (56 for 112) for two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 55.9 quarterback rating. At home, Flacco has completed 67.1 percent of his throws (94 for 140) for 1,271 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions for a 106.6 rating. What gives? The answer is somewhat complicated, but here are a few theories. The Ravens' no-huddle offense is essentially abandoned on the road due to crowd noise, decreasing the timing and tempo that Flacco enjoys at home. Flacco has faced some excellent pass rushers on the road, including the Philadelphia Eagles' Trent Cole and Jason Babin, the Kansas City Chiefs' Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and the Houston Texans' J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed and Antonio Smith. And the offensive line has struggled to provide him with sufficient time to throw. Flacco appears to be pressing and forcing throws. His two interceptions against the Texans came off deflections, but his interceptions against the Eagles and the Chiefs both resulted when Flacco stared down his primary read. Flacco has better fundamentals than he's displayed on the road, but his mechanics, including occasionally throwing off his back foot, have taken a major step backward when he's not in Baltimore. For the Ravens to make a serious playoff run, this troubling trend can't continue.
Bo Rader, Baltimore Sun
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