Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws a pass in the first half against the Denver Broncos during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco: Elite QB

For years people have debated whether or not Joe Flacco was an Elite QB. Is He consistent enough? Does he come through in the big moments? Is the game to big for him?

As far as I am concerned, the debate is over.

Joe Flacco just outdueled a first ballot hall of fame QB for the second year in a row in the playoffs. Joe Flacco just tied the record for road playoff wins…in a career, with 5. He has one of the best win percentages in league history in the playoffs at 7-4(he could go as high as 9-4 or as low as 7-5 before the year is over). He is one of just 3 players to have at least 5 years with less than 12 INTs, he has one of the lowest turnover rates of any QB in league history(combining INTs and fumbles), he is 19th all time in that category. Just INTs alone he is currently 7th all time. Those are seriously impressive numbers.

Flacco is heading into yet another hostile environment in the playoffs this weekend. Look at what the experts are saying. Most are picking the patriots, sure, but most are saying they are afraid of Flacco and the Ravens. Most are not very confident in their pick. One of those that lacks confidence is one of Flaccos biggest critics, Skip Bayless. Bayless said Flacco has been impressive the past two games and that while he still believes Brady is going to be the better player and the Patriots will win, he also said that he is very worried about the pick and scared of the Ravens. If Skip Bayless, the guy who will stick to his guns for years after his ideas have been proven wrong, is afraid of that and afraid of Flacco. What do you think other analysts think? What do you think other teams are thinking?

If I am a patriots fan, I am terrified right now. Things are about to get real. The Ravens aren’t afraid of them like the Texans were. Unlike the Texans, the Ravens have been here before. This isn’t the biggest game in franchise history like it was for the Texans, this is just another game, just like it is for the Patriots. The Ravens are more comfortable in Foxborro stadium than any other team in the league. Maybe any team ever. The Ravens have made trips there in each of the past two playoffs, and in 3 of the past 4(including Sundays game). They also have played the patriots 2 additional times over that stretch(once in Foxborro). The Patriots and Ravens have split in the 4 games, but both losses have ended with drops by Ravens WRs(one on 4th and 9 that would have given the Ravens first and goal at the 3 yard line by mark Clayton and one by Lee Evans in the endzone). The Ravens can beat the Patriots. The Ravens know they can beat the Patriots.

The Reason they know they can beat the patriots? Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

In three of the four games against the Patriots, Flacco has been sensational. The other game was one in which he only threw 10 passes thanks to the Ravens ground game being unstoppable and the Ravens blowing the Patriots out easily. In the other three, Flacco has easily outplayed Brady twice, the third time was a wash. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

Last year Flacco passed at will all day long against the patriots, racking up over 380 yards and 3 TDs. He very briefly had a 4th TD and a superbowl berth before Lee Evans couldn’t hold on to the ball. Brady had 3 turnovers. Flacco had 1. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

Last week Flacco went into Denver, one of the toughest place to win in the NFL, playing against the leagues best team and the games best QB. When the dust settled, Flacco had carried the Ravens to a 38-35 double OT victory throwing for 330+ yards and 3 TDs. Peyton Manning only managed 21 points and threw 2 interceptions. He had 3 total turnovers. Flacco had 1. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

Over the past 5 years Flacco has 27 game wining drives or 4th quarter comebacks. That is good for top 5 in the league. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

Joe Flacco has a combined 61 playoff and regular season victories. No player in the league is better. The Ravens went 5-11 the year before he showed up, Flacco has at least doubled that win total in all but one year of his career. Joe Flacco Elite QB.

Over his past 6 playoff games Flacco has been the best QB in the league statistically as well. He is averaging just over 245 yards per game and has 13 TDs to just 2 INTs. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

First QB to ever make the playoffs in his first 4 year. First to do it in his first 5. First to win a game in each of his first 3, 4 and 5 years. Flacco is alone in his playoff success, he has no peers. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

Consider this. If Flacco were to go on to win the superbowl this year. He would finish the year with a 9-4 playoff record. his road record would be tops all time in terms of win percentage(minimum 10 games). He would own the record for road wins in a career, breaking the tie he holds with Eli Manning  who took much much longer to get that many wins. He would be just 8 wins short of the record for all time victories in the playoffs that Tom Brady just set last weekend. 8 wins short. According to Flaccos track record that would take him 3 more years to tie. He would be an 11 year pro, tying the record of a player who took 13 years to do the same. That is a 2 year differential, that is a long time in the NFL. Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

The assumption that Flacco is an Elite QB walks hand in hand with the assumption that the Ravens are a very very scary team. A team that employs what looks like a top 3 offense under Jim Caldwell, a top 5 QB and a team that employs the likes of Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Lardarius Webb on defense(assuming Ray and Ed are gone and not counting Kruger and Elerbe who are pending FAs). A team with arguably the best special teams unit in the league. A team that is potentially top 3 in both offense and defense and is loaded with stars and playmakers all over the place on all three sides of the ball.

The Ravens will truly have a team worthy of fearing. at the heart of it is Joe Flacco: Elite QB.

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