1. Joe Flacco went 0-7 when blitzed against the Broncos last week. Does he normally struggle against the blitz or was that just an isolated situation?
I would call it an isolated situation. While Flacco doesn't neccesarily excel against the rush, I wouldn't say he's awful against it either. This was no normal blitz rush either. The Ravens O-Line got absolutely annihilated by Denver, and Flacco hardly had more than three seconds to throw when the the game was on the line.
The Ravens offense always comes out looking awkward in the first few weeks it seems, and last week was no exception. From the receivers, to the play calling, and the offensive line, everyone looked out of sync. I fully expect a turn around and would say last week was a outlier.
2. It seems the Ravens drafted Brashad Perriman to try and replace Torrey Smith. With Breeland injured, how are they hoping to fill that void?
No void is being filled currently. The Ravens' roster eye sore is receiver. The whole group is sketchy, even Steve Smith, Sr., who had the go-ahead touchdown pass hit him right in the facemask last Sunday. While Flacco has excelled with suspect receivers in the past, this group poses a challenge for any quarterback. Hopefully things turn around once the team can stretch the field with the return of Perriman.
3. How concerning is it that Eugene Monroe may not play in this game? Who replaces him?
It's definitely concerning. Monroe's replacement, James Hurst, was absolutely dreadful last week. He let practically anyone through, and received a grade lower than -10 from Pro Football Focus. The Raiders' pass rush is just as dangerous as Denver's, and I worry that rushers like Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack, and Aldon Smith could wreak havoc on the outside.
4. What are the Ravens going to do without Terrell Suggs?
Win. The last time Sizzle went down, the Ravens won a Super Bowl. I've got complete confidence in Courtney Upshaw, Elvis Dumervil, rookie Za'Darius Smith, and new signing Jason Babin to pick up the slack. There's no doubt that Suggs has a tremendous emotional and defensive impact on the team, but I think many non-Raven fans are overestimating his play now that he is in the twilight of his career. With young guns like C.J. Mosley, Jimmy Smith, and Timmy Jernigan, the team is starting a new group of defensive dominance.
5. Is Joe Flacco an elite quarterback? If so, why wasn't he looking down field against the Broncos?
Grooooooan. Nothing drives Ravens fans more crazy than the 'elite' question. We don't care, Joe doesn't care, and no one else should care either. It's a subjective word anyways. For what it's worth, I'm of the opinion that while Joe is a winning quarterback, 'elite' should only be reserved for the best of the best, like Brady or Rodgers. But at the end of the day, winning is what matters, not 'eliteness'.
As for him not looking deep, he simply had no time whatsoever to sling it. While the Broncos safeties didn't look good on paper, the team never had a chance to expose that mismatch since their quarterback was constantly on the turf. With both of the Raiders starting safeties potentially out, I'm really hoping that Flacco is given the go ahead to go deep. Even Joe himself wants to do just that.
To see my answers to his questions, click here.