Jackson: Ravens must keep Manning off the field
Right before the New York Giants came to town in Week 16, coach Tom Coughlin spoke of the mobility of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
There were more than a few eye rolls. Flacco didn’t need to show it much in that 33-14 AFC North clinching victory, but in their wild-card playoff win last weekend against the Indianapolis Colts, it was evident.
While Flacco rushed 3 times in that 24-9 victory for minus-3 yards, he rolled out and threw outside the tackles with great success.
“Anytime you move the pocket, it keeps teams with pass rushers a little bit uneasy, at least about attacking one spot,” said Flacco, who completed just 12 of 23 passes but for 282 yards and 2 TDs. “I think that’s something we’ve been able to do over the past few weeks, and I think it’s definitely helped us out a little bit.”
The Ravens will need it in Saturday’s divisional playoff game at the Denver Broncos. They lost 34-17 to them in Week 15 as Flacco was under constant pressure. He was sacked three times.
Flacco had two first-half turnovers that put them in a 17-0 hole and Jim Caldwell, in his first game as offensive coordinator after taking over for the fired Cam Cameron, didn’t have much of a chance to put his stamp on the play-calling.
“Moving the pocket has been a goal of ours, and it’s going to be important in this next game, also. Whenever you have great edge pass rushers, you need to move the pocket,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the rematch with the Broncos. “They have been working hard on (that), whether it’s stepping up in the pocket making plays or stepping outside and making plays when the pass rushers can't contain and then keeping the play alive and trying to make some throws while he’s doing that.
“Joe can run. He’s faster than people think, so he can get out of there and run for some yards, too. Yes, it’s something they have been working on."