In week six of the NFL season Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, crushed the Tampa Bay Bucs with four touchdowns in the first quarter. He then added another touchdown in the second quarter. Flacco threw five touchdown passes faster than any quarterback in NFL history.
It took Flacco just over 16 minutes to throw for five touchdowns. Flacco and the Ravens had scored five touchdowns before the Bucs even got on the board en route to a 48-17 blowout victory. Flacco threw for a total of 306 yards and five touchdowns in a game that was never really close.
Last season was a bit of a down year for the Ravens signal caller. After winning the Superbowl the previous season, the Ravens signed a $110 million dollar contract with their quarterback. In the playoffs and the Superbowl Flacco threw for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions and the Ravens thought they had found their quarterback of the future.
Last season was a setback as Flacco threw for more interceptions than touchdowns for the first time in his career. The Ravens also missed the playoffs for the first time since he had taken over at quarterback.
Going into the season, Ravens’ running back Ray Rice was suspended for off-field issues, and the defense was one of the oldest in the league. Many did not know what to expect from the team. With Rice out for the season, the team has relied on a running back committee with Justin Forsett and Bernard Pierce.
The Bucs were expected to be a contender this year with new head coach Lovie Smith. After getting a close victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers it seemed as if they were on their way to finding an identity. After letting Flacco and the Ravens offense crush them for 28 points in the first quarter, the Bucs are in serious trouble.
The Bucs are in the very tough NFC South with the New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Carolina Panthers. All three of those teams are at or above a .500 record. With the Bucs now sitting with just one win after six weeks, it is hard to imagine them being able to make a push for the playoffs.
The Ravens, however, are sitting in a great position in an even stronger division. The Cincinnati Bengals only have one loss and the Cleveland Browns just rolled over the rival Steelers. The Steelers are now the only team in the division to not have a winning record, which comes as a surprise to many fans.
Next up for the Ravens is a home game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons might be a stronger team, but they do not have a strong passing defense. After seeing Flacco crush the Bucs like he did in week six, the Falcons have to be a bit worried going into week seven. After the home game against the Falcons the Ravens have two games against division opponents. The schedule is in the favor of Flacco and the Ravens to take command of their division in the coming weeks.
Commentary by Andy Lapic
Photo by Keith Allison –Flicker License