Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco endured one of his worst outings of the season, getting sacked a season-worst five times in Sunday night’s 34-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The frequency with which San Diego pressured and took down Flacco has sowed a few seeds of confidence among the Cleveland Browns’ defensive players that they might be able to replicate those results when the Ravens and Browns meet at M&T Bank Stadium on Christmas Eve.
“You know, it’s different. It comes down to the way the game is played,” middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “If we can win on first and second down and put them in passing downs that allow us to get after Flacco a bit – that’s the way the game went about against the Chargers. But first and foremost, we have to stop the run. If we don’t stop that, then we won’t have a chance to blitz Flacco.”
The number of sacks were a cause for alarm, but Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said any suggestion that Flacco was solely responsible is misguided.
“There was a handful there that we have to get corrected,” Cameron said during his weekly briefing Thursday. “It was a collective thing. It wasn’t the offensive line, it wasn’t Joe. Pass protection is about separation, it’s about route design, it’s about protectors, it’s about a whole series of things, so everybody can help improve that. We knew those guys were good. Obviously, we didn’t get the job done.”