On ESPN’s Monday Night Football pre game show, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco referred to himself as an “elite” quarterback in the NFL. While his success over his first three seasons has been great, I would hesitate to agree with Flacco just yet.
Flacco’s stats however do put him in the top ten among quarterbacks in the NFL. His QB rating, 94.0, is 8th in the league behind Ben Roethlisberger and ahead of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. He’s 12th in completion percentage (62.6%), 9th in yards (3,223) and tied for 7th in average per completion (7.5). While his numbers are solid, I don’t think they are quite “elite.”
Those that agree with Flacco’s statement would also point out that he’s led the Ravens to a 3-2 record in the postseason, including a win on the road against the New England Patriots and a trip to the AFC Championship in his rookie year, 2008.
Flacco’s two trips to the post season, while successful, were not his best individual performances. In the Ravens three post season games in 2008, Flacco threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions and his completion percentage never exceeded 50% in any of those games. In 2009, Joe Flacco completed just 4 passes in 10 attempts for 34 yards with an interception against the Patriots. In Indianapolis, Joe threw another two interceptions and completed 57.1% of his passes.
No matter what the sport, being “elite” requires having success in the post season, thus far we haven’t seen top tier numbers from Joe Flacco in the playoffs.
A number of fans demand more “fire” and “passion” from Flacco. This year, we have started to see that leadership quality begin to emerge, through his spat with Derrick Mason a few weeks ago, but Flacco needs to show it a little more to be a top QB in the NFL.
More than anything else previously mentioned, elite quarterbacks are leaders on the field. If their offensive coordinator calls for a short pass on a crucial 3rd and 2, they audible the call. If they go up to the line and see Troy Polamalu looking to blitz in poor pass protection, they change the play or call timeout. Flacco has yet to prove he can do these things. That doesn’t mean that he can’t, it just means that after nearly three seasons, I don’t agree with his statement that he’s elite.
I think Flacco is elite. The numbers support it. Yes, he isn’t perfect at every asepct of the game like making all the OL calls. He still does enough right in the “Elite” category. He has CARRIED the Ravens to a 9-4 record. The Ravens are 31 is rushes per attempt. The D is more middle of the road this year. Flacco has been the constent.
He's pretty good, but not elite. I think his quote is out of context, to be honest.
Although I respect your opinion, I disagree. You have quoted stats, but stats really don't differentiate a good and elite qb. Flacco doesn't get the marketing support as a Matt Ryan or a Big Ben, but he outplays them. Big Ben hasn't been very good this year, and for him to be higher ranked than Flacco is because of padded stats. Remember when they were blown out by the Pats? Big Ben had awesome stats. He piled them up when the Pats went into Prevent mode.
How many Ravens games have you watched?
All of them. But you're talking about padding stats…nothing pads stats like 3 yard check down passes to Ray Rice to boost your completion percentage and and QB rating. Big Ben's stats are good and he's a proven winner. Him and Brady have the hardware to prove it…I can't stand either one of them, but they do.
Well, those checkdowns to Ray Rice were crucial in the Raven's success last year. It's different when you are getting blown out and light up a prevent defense. I think Big Ben is good and Brady is great. But what do I know…
If you consider. A 9-7 record and 2-6 against playoff teams "success" then you're right, those check downs were important.
I think Flacco could enter elite status when he is a bit more automatic with 4th Quarter comebacks.
Stats notwithstanding, I think what makes a good QB great or elite is leadership on the field. LOVE him or hate him, Manning is a take charge guy as is Brady and Brees. Joe is still very immature in that regard. Put the ball in an elite QBs hands with two minutes and the game on the line and he knows what to do- put the ball in Joe's hand with two minutes and many times it ends up on the ground.
You disagree…and who are you?
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