Flacco had a pretty rough first half, completing just 9 of 22 passes for 82 yards and one interception, which came on the opening drive as he badly underthrew Bernard Pierce as a heavy snow was coming down. Flacco did have a 1-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson in the first quarter, but it was one of his few first-half highlights. Flacco also had a 22-yard scramble down to the 3-yard line a few plays before Dickson's touchdown catch.
The second half didn't get off to a much better start for Flacco, who threw an interception late in the third quarter and led no scoring drives in the third quarter. Flacco had another interception midway through the fourth quarter, but this one wasn't his fault as Jacoby Jones allowed a catchable pass to sail threw his hands. The deflection was picked off by Marcus Sherels.
Luckily for Baltimore, Flacco stepped up when his team needed him the most. He led a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, which ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta on 4th-and-goal. The lead would change hands five times in the final 2:05, starting with Pitta's touchdown, but the final lead change came when Flacco hit Marlon Brown in the back of the end zone with the game-winning, 9-yard touchdown with 4 seconds left.
The three touchdowns were a season-high for Flacco. The three interceptions were his second-highest total this season. The Ravens are back in action Week 15 at Detroit.
Fantasy owners haven't gotten many chances to start
Quarterbacks are averaging 24.8 Fantasy points per week against Minnesota, which is the highest average. Only three times in 12 games have quarterbacks failed to throw for multiple touchdowns against Minnesota. Quarterbacks have racked up 25 passing touchdowns to just eight interceptions, while averaging 300.4 passing yards per game.
Flacco's biggest issue this season has been the lack of reliable targets in the passing game outside of Torrey Smith. Help could be on the way Week 14 in the form of Dennis Pitta, who might make his season debut after recovering from a preseason hip injury. However, you have to figure he will be on a snap count in his debut, so can he really make a huge difference for Flacco?
If you have a playoff matchup Week 14, you have probably made it this far without relying on Flacco and probably have a better option to use at quarterback. Though, if you have a player like Russell Wilson (@SF), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. MIA), Philip Rivers (vs. NYG) or Colin Kaepernick (vs. SEA) with a tough matchup Week 14, then you might look toward a sleeper like Flacco. Still, if you are in that situation, you might consider Josh McCown (vs. DAL) or Alex Smith (@WAS), if they are available on waivers.
Flacco completed 24 of 35 passes for 251 yards in the game, and managed to avoid an interception for the first time in five games. He tossed one touchdown, a 7-yarder to Torrey Smith on the first drive of the game, shortly after an apparent score by the duo was overturned via replay.
Flacco had six touchdowns and six interceptions in his previous for games, but was able to get back on track Thursday. He is now at 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on the season, heading into Week 14 against the Vikings.
It's not often that a Super Bowl-winning quarterback becomes a poor Fantasy play the following year, but such is the case with
Flacco has yet to toss three touchdowns in any game. He has thrown for 14 scores and 14 interceptions on the year. His 273-yard total against the Jets on Sunday was his highest in five weeks. He has yet to score a touchdown on the ground. And he has been sacked 17 times in the last four games.
It all adds up to a no-play Thursday night against visiting Pittsburgh, which is far superior against the pass than the run. The Steelers rank 10th in the NFL in yards allowed through the air (2,468) and seventh in touchdown passes surrendered (13).
Perhaps Flacco will rise to the occasion on Thanksgiving night at home against a heated AFC North rival, but don't count on it. A taut defensive struggle is more likely. None of the CBSSports.com senior Fantasy writers even have Flacco listed among their top 24 quarterback plays this week. Take their advice and leave him out of your lineups.
|15||12/16/13||@ DET||8:40 pm|
|17||12/29/13||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
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