Week Sixteen Analysis: He's almost 100 yards better at home than on the road. Three of his four multiple touchdown games
have come at home. (Yes, he's only had
four multiple touchdown games all year).
But, he's thrown five touchdowns the past two weeks, even if last week
it was all garbage time. Giants rank
28th vs passing yards. Prince Amukamara, Kenny Phillips, and Tyler Sash are all
hurt. Justin Tuck probably won't play. It adds up to rare upside for Flacco.
Week Fourteen Analysis: This season Joe Flacco has faced four defenses that rank in the bottom ten in passing yards allowed, and he averaged 308 yards per game and threw half of touchdowns. In his other eight games he's averaging only 225 yards and has had seven of his 15 touchdowns. Maddeningly, Washington's secondary is somewhere in between. They were brutal in the first half of the season, but have improved greatly of late, allowing just five touchdowns in the past five games. It's not the cakewalk I need to see from Flacco to feel good about putting him back in my starting lineup. We're talking about a guy who has topped one touchdown pass in just one of his last nine games.
Week Nine Analysis: It wasn't that long ago that we were wondering if Joe Flacco was matchup-proof. But now, after a month of lackluster starts, we're wondering if he's startable against one of the worst secondaries in football. Cleveland is allowing the 8th-most passing yards per game, and the fourth-most passing touchdowns. To their credit, the Browns have held their last two opposing quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers, to zero touchdown passes. Although the horrifying weather in Cleveland last week was also a major factor. Flacco faced this Browns secondary, albeit without star corner Joe Haden, in week four, and posted a fantastic 356 yards, threw one score, and ran in another. He hasn't been nearly as good since, and won't be in the rematch either.
Week Seven Analysis: Joe Flacco has been stymied in back to back games, and now he faces a Houston secondary with some seriously wounded pride after Aaron Rodgers obliterated them on national television. He posted just one touchdown last week and none the week before. Those opponents, Dallas and Kansas City, both have two quality starting cornerbacks that helped neutralize Flacco's wideouts. Houston has two good corners, Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph. They aren't elite, but they're good (no matter what you saw against Green Bay). That caps Flacco's
Week Six Analysis: Joe Flacco has been very good this year, but this matchup will test him. The new Dallas secondary, featuring Morris Clairborne and Brandon Carr have been really good. So good, they're allowing the fewest passing yards per game, 187. And, only five teams have allowed fewer than the Cowboys' five passing touchdowns. With Clairborne and Carr on Torry Smith and Anquan Boldin, Flacco will need to find alternatives. Fortunately, he's got them in Ray Rice, Dennis Pitta, and Ed Dickson. Those guys might be his best chance of success in a tough matchup.
Week Five Analysis: It's been three of four really good games for Joe Flacco, and this week will make it four of five. The Kansas City secondary, with or without Brandon Flowers, has been getting plowed like Justin Timberlake through Hollywood actresses. Every opposing quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns. They've given up 2.75 quarterback touchdowns per game. At this point, Flacco's new-look offense looks like an unstoppable, well-oiled machine. Much like Justin Timberlake, on a typical Saturday night.
Week Four Analysis: The Browns did a great job of limiting Joe Flacco in their two meetings with him last year. But that was a different Joe Flacco, and that was a different Browns secondary, one with shutdown corner Joe Haden. Flacco is throwing more passes than he used to, and he's completing a lot of them. Plus, he's learning to be more accurate on his downfield scoring strikes. Since losing Haden, the Browns have allowed six passing touchdowns in two games. They've also given up two 300-yard passing performances, making Flacco a very strong start again.
Week Three Analysis: I remain very optimistic about Joe Flacco's fantasy future, but clearly, last week was a road bump. The Eagles secondary really limited Joe, and we saw a guy who looked a lot more like the 2011 version of Flacco instead of the gunslinger we saw this preseason and in week one. A return to form is coming, however. Flacco faced the Patriots just three games ago, in the AFC Conference Championship. In that game he threw for 306 yards and two scores. Those milestones are reachable again. It's tempting to look at the stats and assume the Patriots secondary is improved. And, sure the stats are better, but they've faced Jake Locker in his first-ever start, and Kevin Kolb. Flacco will be their first real test, and I expect similar results to last year.
Week Two Analysis: Joe Flacco's impressive preseason carried through to the opener as he shredded a decent Bengals secondary with surgical precision last week. Now he gets an Eagles secondary with plenty of talent in Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. They handled Brandon Weeden with ease last week, which was expected, but they were really good for most of last year, too. The most recent six teams they've faced have passed for 179 yards per game, and 1 TD. Flacco is better than most of those guys, and I expect him to do better, but the Eagles are good enough to cap his upside.
NEXT: #11 ALEX SMITH