Who’s Better, Joe Flacco or Joe Namath? You Decide!


You will not see Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco in a mink coat. He will not don a pair of panty hose to pitch a product. And he is not likely to issue any Super Bowl guarantees.

More from Ravens News

Joe Flacco will never have a glittery nickname like “Broadway Joe”, “Big Joe” or “Smooth Joe”, and he won’t adorn himself with gold chains, jewelry or Rolex watches. He absolutely will not be “out and about”, enjoying the night life with a Blonde on each arm. Flacco is low key. He is a family man who does not seek the “spotlight.” He is simply “Joe Cool.”

In a sense, Joe Flacco is the antithesis of Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Namath. He is what Joe Namath is not and Joe Namath is what Flacco is not. In fact, the only things they seem to have in common are a Super Bowl win, a Super Bowl MVP and playing the same position.

Comparing Joe Flacco to Joe Namath sounds ludicrous. Namath is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to four AFL All Star teams and one AFL-NFL Pro Bowl. He was voted onto the All Time AFL team and still garners celebrity status in most circles. But Joe Flacco compares favorably to Joe Namath. In fact, Flacco is statistically better than Namath when the first 96 regular season games of Flacco’s career are compared to the first 97 regular season games Namath started.

“The only things Joe Flacco and Joe Namath seem to have in common are a Super Bowl win, a Super Bowl MVP and playing the same position.”

To get a complete picture of both men’s contributions to the game, we compared their playoff and Super Bowl records as well. The comparison was enlightening and a bit surprising. It helped sweep away several misconceptions I had about them.

In examining the numbers, keep in mind that Flacco completed 96 games in six years. He did so because the seasons are longer now than they were when Namath played (16 games instead of 14). It is also significant that, unlike Flacco who has been extremely durable, Namath missed some time due to injury. That caused him to complete his ninety seventh game at the end of his ninth year in the league (AFL/NFL).

Joe Namath, in his first 97 AFL/NFL games had 1374 pass completions on 2738 attempts giving him a 50 percent completion rate and a 68.41 quarterback rating. In contrast, Joe Flacco, in his first 96 NFL games, posted 1869 completions on 3103 pass attempts for a completion rate of 60 percent (10 points above Namath) and a quarterback rating of 84.08 (almost 16 points higher than Namath).

Live Feed

What could Packers receive by trading down in 2023 NFL Draft?
What could Packers receive by trading down in 2023 NFL Draft? /

Lombardi Ave

  • The Rock shouts out former Alabama star for choosing XFL over NFLFanSided
  • Ravens appear to be planning for future without Lamar JacksonFanSided
  • Raiders: Is Jacoby Brissett a better option than Jimmy Garoppolo?Just Blog Baby
  • 5 quarterbacks Detroit Lions should target in free agency to backup Jared GoffSideLion Report
  • Trey Palmer schedule at the NFL Combine: When can you watch?Husker Corner
  • During that time, Namath did throw more touchdowns (131 – 121) but Flacco threw approximately half of the interceptions attributed to Namath (Joe Namath – 149 and Joe Flacco – 78). Joe Flacco had 19 game winning drives (ranking him 53 on the all time list) compared to Namath’s 16 (ranked 76 on the all time list). In addition, Namath had 16 fourth quarter comebacks to Flacco’s 13, ranking them 55 and 73 respectively.

    Because Joe Flacco has started 12 Playoff games (not counting Super Bowl appearances) and Namath has only started two, the second of which against the Kansas City Chiefs, was a disaster; we did not compare those numbers.

    We did, however, compare Super Bowl stats. Each man started one Super Bowl and both won; Namath beat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III and Flacco defeated the San Francisco Forty-niners in the infamous “Lights Out” Super Bowl XLVII. Against the Colts, Namath racked up a 60.7 percent completion rate (17 for 28) but Flacco’s completion rate against the Forty-niners was 66.7 (22 for 33).

    Neither Quarterback threw a Super Bowl interception but Flacco threw three touchdown passes to zero for Namath. Both men were named the MVP of their respective Super Bowls but Flacco finished Super Bowl XLVII with a passer rating of 117.2 while Namath posted an 83.3 passer rating.

    “Neither Quarterback threw a Super Bowl interception but Flacco threw three touchdown passes to zero for Namath.”

    It is clear that Joe Flacco is a long way from the Hall of Fame; not because of his numbers but because of his durability and approach to the game. Flacco will probably play another 5-7 years after which he must wait another five years to be eligible for the “Hall.” If he continues to build his regular season resume with reasonably good statistics and continues to win Playoff game and Super Bowls, he will make the HOF Selection Committee take notice.

    While Joe Flacco’s regular season statistics will not raise many eyebrows, his overall “body of work” when compared to “Hall of Famers” like Joe Namath certainly puts him in the conversation. I admit that my voice has been among the loudest of those who have criticized Joe Flacco. His rather “average” regular season numbers have been underwhelming. However, when compared to Joe Namath, Flacco’s accomplishments have been impressive. The Baltimore Ravens are fortunate that Joe Flacco is their Quarterback. All I can say after conducting this exercise is Joe Flacco is a winner. As Flacco goes, so go the Ravens.