I’m not sure how it happened, but it has. We have reached the midpoint of the 2019 NFL season. The year is flying by so let’s take a few minutes to check in on the AFC West and their quarterbacks.
It has been a rollercoaster in the West, to say the least. For some teams, early season promise has turned into concern. For others, they never even got out of the gate. The media likes to put wins and losses on the shoulders of two people- the coach, and the QB. While in reality, that isn’t always where the fault lies, the quarterbacks of the AFC West are taking the punch.
The Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) are obviously not where they want to be. Many of us, and yes I’m including myself in this, thought it would be the Chargers who would battle the Kansas City Chiefs for the division. While they squeaked out a win against the Chicago Bears yesterday, not many feel the Chargers are a threat.
We all understand that preseason games are rarely an indicator for a season’s success or failure. For half of the AFC West, they really hope that statement holds true. While Kansas City looked as dominant as many expected, no one expected the Raiders to roll over the Rams.
Of course, most teams were without their starters, and it was obvious that coaches were holding back as they should, but let’s not let that stop us from going over a few talking points about those first games.
We hear it all the time… “That veteran will be mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes.” But is that really true? And even more, is it really fair to expect a veteran who wants the starting job to spend any time at all helping the rookie who wants to take his job?
That seems to be the big story in Denver this week as quarterback Joe Flacco is taking heat for saying it’s not his job to be a mentor to newly drafted QB Drew Lock.
Going into the 2019 NFL season many teams have needs. Some have different needs than others, but no need is more important than that of the quarterback. There are at least 5 teams that are going to need some help at that position.
The Denver Broncos addressed theirs by agreeing in principle for Baltimore Ravens benched QB Joe Flacco. While Flacco won’t be the answer long term for the Broncos, he will at least give them some time to find their franchise quarterback.
Many NFL analysts have ranted that this 2019 quarterback class, to say it nicely, is average. No one guy stands out at this moment. You’d have to assume Bronco’s GM John Elway agrees with that assessment since he pulled the trigger so quickly on Flacco. I’ve always felt that if you pick a player in the first round, that player has to start day one. I just don’t feel that there are day one starters in this draft, which in my mind is why Flacco is a Bronco.
So what does this signing mean for the other teams that are quarterback-starved? It means another free agent/ “Gap” quarterback is about to hit the market. If the Broncos can’t find a team to trade their one and done QB, Case Keenum to, then he is expected to be released.
What a way to come back from a disarmingly bad loss last week against division rivals for the Baltimore Ravens to play like they did on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. The Ravens played excellent on both sides of the ball.
After being criticized by both fans and press alike, the Ravens came out playing fast and smart. When given good protection and time to throw we see a completely different team. We see a team that has the ground game and passing game in sync. Coming into this game we didn’t know which Ravens team was going to show up Sunday.
Glad to see the preparedness for the Raiders was on display. Quarterback Joe Flacco looked comfortable in the pocket. He didn’t throw one interception and was not sacked at all. Despite some injuries to some players we still managed to escape mistake free.
The Baltimore Ravens opened up on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals and came out with a divisional win. On a day where we didn’t know how the offense would hold up giving the fact that Joe Flacco hadn’t played at all during the preseason, Joe managed the game as a playmaker should. The line only allowed Joe to be sacked one time.
The run game was not abandoned which was a good thing. Seeing both Terrance West and Buck Allen split carries was refreshing. Both ran well. It was good to see one of our wide receivers score a touchdown. Hopefully we will see more from our passing attack. The coaches did a wonderful game plan coming into week 1 because there have been plenty of times where we have gone into Cincy and come away with a loss. That has ended.
Joe seemed to settle into the game as it progressed along. Joe showed no signs of any lingering back problems or pain even when he got sacked. He completed 9-17 passes for 121 yards. The passing highlight was the 48 yard touchdown from Jeremy Maclin that gave us a 10-0 score in the first half.
The run game was displayed as a two headed monster with both West and Allen sharing the load. We ran the ball 47 times with an astounding 157 yards in rushing which was done by not abandoning the run game. With the Ravens controlling the game by running the ball, the passing game wasn’t need that much. Once Joe gets back in sync with the receivers it will open up more in due time.
Sunday, July 30th was the first of three Baltimore Ravens‘ open practices for the fans.
Many fans got to see some familiar faces, and new players. There were different sessions going on in different areas of the field. The fans got to see the new jumbo screen that replaced the smaller ones.
During the first session, the defense worked on drills on one end of the field. The offensive linemen worked on another part of the field. There was plenty to watch on the field and the screen.
The defense won the game as far as points. Rookie Marlon Humphrey was very impressive in man coverage. He is showing great promise, but it’s only training camp – time will tell when it comes to live play. Another rookie who made a nice grab for a touchdown was WR Tim White from Arizona State, pass was thrown by David Olson. He also threw a nice pass to Mike Wallace.
With the 2017 season upon us the Rookies have reported to camp to get acclimated to their new home for the next 7 months. Quarterbacks and the rest of the veterans are starting to show up .
The main focus this season will be the offense. We need players to step up, be leaders and be vocal. There will be position battles especially on the offensive line. The competition for the Center position, the Defensive End and the Wide Receivers. Also, who will be our Punt Returner/Kick Returner with Michael Campanaro on the PUP list.
This training camp will be a test for everyone on how our season will be. Fans will get to see the players at M&T Stadium starting July 30th and two more times before the season starts. This will be a make or break season for some to either make the 53 man roster or make it to the practice squad.
In recent news, the Baltimore Ravens signed FA Jeremy Maclin after having him visit us last week. He also had a visit with the Buffalo Bills as well. His signing was a much needed addition to our wide receiver corp. His veteran presence is a good fit only if our offensive coach uses him correctly.
How many times have we had good wide receivers and they were not used properly? Either we are going to use them correctly or we will be in the same position we were in last season.
Who will step in at the tight end position now that Dennis Pitta has retired due to his injury? We have plenty to pick from, hopefully, they will step up and produce. We will see come training camp who steps up and make plays.