Ravens need Joe Flacco to get off to better starts in games

Quarterback can lift his struggling offense if he plays well in the first quarter Sunday

November 07, 2013|By Mike Preston | The Baltimore Sun

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he talked to his team Wednesday about getting a fast start Sunday against the Bengals. We've heard this talk from him before about trying to motivate his team, but maybe he needs to personally address the issue with quarterback Joe Flacco.

We're all aware of the problems the Ravens have had this season, but you can count on your thumb the number of times Flacco has come out sizzling in the first quarter during his six seasons in Baltimore.

He is always erratic, usually overthrowing receivers. If he hit two wide open receivers to start the game against Cleveland, the Ravens would have actually taken a 7-0 lead. More than any other player, the quarterback has a chance to make up for any weaknesses on offense, and if Flacco came out hot he might inspire his teammates and get them fired up for the rest of the game.

It's hard to understand why Flacco starts slow, but an offense usually adopts the personality of its quarterback, and the Ravens certainly come out like Flacco.

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