The two games since then have shown I couldn't have been more wrong.
Not that he was so bad in Week 7, but against the Falcons defense, a 1-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is nothing to celebrate. And then came the disaster of Week 8 at Cincinnati, when he completed just 50 percent of his passes for 195 yards and two interceptions.
That's two touchdowns to four interceptions with an average of 226.5 yards in two games -- hardly the makings of a career season.
Of course, these last two games have been two of Smith's quietest, which probably isn't a coincidence. He certainly has more 100-yard performances in his future, and Flacco will benefit from those. But with so much depth at quarterback, Flacco's inconsistencies make him little more than a bye-week replacement in Fantasy.
Flacco, who added 12 yards on two rushes, wasn't able to connect with Torrey Smith in the game and had to play a significant portion of the second half without the starting receiver. With the offense also down to Crockett Gilmore at tight end, the quarterback had difficulty moving the ball through the air with any regularity. Flacco's 5.7 yards-per-attempt mark in the loss was similar to his performance over the first two weeks of the season, including a Week 1 loss to the Bengals, but he had delivered a YPC mark of over 10.0 in three of his previous four games before struggling in Week 8.
Flacco and the Ravens stay on the road in Week 9 to face the Steelers.
Flacco got off to a quick start Sunday, as he finished off the team's opening drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels. While the Ravens built a 17-0 halftime lead, Flacco didn't get his second touchdown pass until the team's final offensive drive in the fourth quarter. On a fourth-and-9 with 1:46 left, Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for a 39-yard touchdown.
Flacco came close to a three-touchdown game Sunday, but he was intercepted in the end zone on a third-and-9 play from the Falcons' 16-yard line late in the third quarter.
The Ravens are back in action Week 8 at Cincinnati.
Flacco torched the Buccaneers last week, and will look to keep it going against another NFC South opponent. The Falcons opened the season looking like an improved pass defense, as they held their first three opponents to 15.0 Fantasy points per game from the quarterback position. However, each of their last three have topped 20 points, with four total touchdowns and no turnovers over that stretch.
Flacco has faced the Falcons just once, back in 2010, so we probably cannot take much out of his 25-point effort. Still, the Falcons' pass defense is reeling at the same time Flacco is taking off, so Fantasy owners should consider him a solid starting option this week.
But he gave everyone a reminder of what kind of weapons the Ravens have with his five-touchdown performance Sunday.
Steve Smith we already knew about. He contributed one of those touchdowns in usual Steve Smith-fashion, beating the defense on a 56-yard bomb early in the second quarter. But Torrey Smith, who seemed to have vanished from the offense for the first five weeks, also got in on the act, catching the first two of Flacco's touchdowns.
With the Ravens' running game still searching for its identity -- and seemingly the best of their options, Justin Forsett, thriving as a pass catcher as well -- Flacco might be asked to make better use of those weapons going forward. And while he may not be as successful against premier defenses, the Ravens host the Falcons in Week 7.
If you've gotten burned at quarterback so far, maybe Flacco is a better choice than someone like Ben Roethlisberger or Andy Dalton.
|9||11/2/14||@ PIT||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/24/14||@ NO||8:30 pm|
|14||12/7/14||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|16||12/21/14||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|