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Joe Flacco isn’t elite and we should stop pretending he is

September 28, 2012

Football, NFL

I woke up today and turned on ESPN as I do most mornings. One of the topics of discussion was last nights Ravens vs. Browns game and more specifically the performance of Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Flacco had another good game, but I was shocked to hear what Teddy Bruschi had to say about him. I’m paraphrasing a bit, but he said that all Flacco is close to being elite and that with a ring, he would become elite. Putting aside the fact that some anaylsts name half the league’s QB’s “elite”, I was shocked that someone as average as Joe Flacco could be considered even close to being elite.

Flacco has had a successful career so far in the NFL, but to say it’s due to his play is a bit ridiculous. Not only has Flacco played with one of the league’s best defenses since he came into the league, he’s also played with one of the league’s best RB’s in Ray Rice. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Ravens have been 13-2 when Ray Rice gets more than 20 carries. When he doesn’t and the game is on Joe Flacco’s back? A 3-4 record. Rice is much more important to the Ravens offense than Flacco, as he also makes a huge impact in the passing game.

The Rice trend hasn’t continued into 2012 and Joe Flacco has put up incredible stats so far. Through 4 games, Flacco has 1,269 yards and 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Those are impressive numbers, but I wouldn’t expect them to continue. Flacco and the Ravens have benefited from an incredibly easy schedule so far in 2012, playing 3 awful defenses in the first 4 weeks. The only good defense that they played is the Eagles, and that is the game where Flacco struggled the most and the team lost.

We also shouldn’t forget Flacco’s first three seasons, which have been nothing but average at best. He’s never thrown for 3,000 yards and he’s never thrown for more than 25 TD’s. Flacco supporters will point to the amount of games that he’s won, but he’s been a pretty unimportant part of that. He’s been average and he’s benefited from great play around him. Put Joe Flacco on the Bengals or Browns and I guarantee he doesn’t win more than 7 games.

Before the season, Joe Flacco said he was an elite quarterback. I’m fine with that, because that’s all about showing confidence in yourself even if you don’t neccessarily believe it. The rest of us don’t need to lie about it though. Joe Flacco isn’t elite, so stop talking like he is.

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