That occurred compliments of quarterback Joe Flacco, who told offensive coordinator Marc Trestman that the Ravens needed to push the ball downfield more.
"I said to Marc, 'We’re going fast, and we’re moving ... but it feels like we’re getting 2 yards, 3 yards, 6 yards,'" Flacco said after the Ravens' 25-20 win over the Cleveland Browns. "Everything is taking long. So let’s get into more of a groove of trying to get some chunks. [The plays] don’t have to be perfect, but I think we can let our players make some plays and get some opportunities."
In the first quarter, when Baltimore trailed 20-2, Flacco threw two passes that traveled 15 yards in the air and completed none. In the final three quarters, when the Ravens outscored the Browns 23-0, he went 4-of-10 on those downfield throws.
It began with a 30-yard pass to tight end Dennis Pitta on a third-and-5 in the second quarter, which set up the Ravens' first touchdown. It ended with a 28-yarder to Pitta in the fourth quarter, which led to the go-ahead field goal.
What stood out was Flacco's persistence in throwing deep. He kept taking shots, despite getting picked off twice. He continued to look downfield, even though he took five hard hits in the pocket.
"This is a guy who stands tall, 6-foot-6 the whole time, no matter who's coming in his face," said Wallace, who scored two touchdowns Sunday. "For a guy like me, that makes me want to make a play because we have a quarterback who is supposed to be fragile. He just came off an ACL. He's going to sit in there and take shots. Who am I not to go and make plays?"
It was a rough start for Flacco. He missed on seven of his 12 passes in the first quarter, and he was picked off deep in his own territory after the Ravens fell behind 14-0.
What was Flacco thinking when Baltimore trailed 20-0?
"The same thing that’s going through true Ravens fans’ heads," Flacco said. "I’m sure I threw a pick, and defense were pissed at me."
Flacco redeemed himself in the pressure-filled situations. He was 3-of-4 on passes of 10 or more yards downfield, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was 5-of-13 on all other downs. Against the blitz on third down, Flacco was 6-of-8 for 94 yards, with one of the incompletions the result of a drop.
"I honestly haven't been around anyone as cool as Joe," Wallace said. "Nothing bothers him. Just the way he reacts to situations is whatever. We're down 20-0, [and he's like] whatever. He's just composed."