You guys want an elite quarterback? You have to stop complaining when we go out there and throw the ball 60 times a game. – Ravens QB Joe Flacco
On Wednesday afternoon, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco playfully joked with media about his shortcomings in the NFL. The quarterback known as “Joe Cool” is usually not the one responding to media criticism. That job is usally left to Terrell Suggs or Ray Lewis. But this time, the bashful quarterback had a lot to say…
I’m sure if we win [the Super Bowl] I’ll have nothing to do with why we won, according to you guys,
Joe Flacco has accomplished a lot in his first four seasons. Being the only quarterback in NFL history to reach the postseason in your first four seasons is something to be proud of (It’s more than Matt Ryan can say). However, many don’t contribute any of the Ravens last four playoff wins to the quarterback. While that sounds pretty harsh, they do have a point. Flacco has thrown only four touchdowns in the post season and has accumulated seven interceptions. His postseason passer rating is a despicable 61.6. The Ravens have relied heavily on a strong running game and a devastating defense to take them far in the past. Although he hates the label, you can’t deny that Flacco was much more of a game manager in the playoffs. But I have reason to believe that will change this weekend.
In the seven playoff games Joe Flacco has played in, not one has been in M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens have always had to go on the road in the playoffs and it has hurt them. As Warren Sapp always says, “When you go on a road, you gotta pack a defense and a running game.” This statement is very true and it’s what the Ravens do best. Ray Rice is one of the league’s premier backs and their top 5 defense has been doing work since their inception. This combination was deadly on the road. Unfortunately, some teams where able to take Ray Rice out of the game putting too much pressure on the Ravens D. This is the hardest thing about playing on the road. If the running game is halted, you can’t set up the pass and the opposing defense keys in on you. It’s stopped the Ravens before but now that they’re at home, it’s a different story.
For the Ravens, balance is key. Sometimes, the defense has to pick up the offense and other times, the offense picks up the defense. That’s how it should be. As we saw with the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, a one dimensional team is far from perfect. No matter how great your offense is, you can’t rely on a 31st ranked defense when your offense has an off day. For the Ravens, they have something to back up on if one facet fails. While Flacco is obviously upset and wants to go out there and prove something to his critics, that’s a bad approach. Flacco certainly has the capabilities to have a big game, but when you’re in the playoffs, the number one rule is to do what got you there. For the Ravens, passing 50 times a game did not get them to the playoffs, offensive balance and good defensive play did. Balance isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Flacco can still put up big numbers, but he shouldn’t go too crazy. Stick to your guns and bring home the W.
You guys want everybody to be Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. But you guys realize, those guys don’t run the ball? If we tried to do that, the criticism we’d take around here would be ridiculous. We could win eight games like that and lose one, and you guys would be like, ‘Oh man, what are you guys doing?’