Joe Flacco: The most underrated quarterback in the NFL


Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball over New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) during the second quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Flacco debate is one that rages on, and it will probably continue to do so until after the guy retires.  Is he overpaid/underpaid, elite/not elite, is he a product of a great team, blah, blah, blah. Ravens fans admittedly get a little tired of it, and they aren’t the only ones.

John Harbaugh is tired of being asked about it as well.  When CBS’ Jason LaCanfora tried to subtly ask Harbaugh if Flacco’s success was a byproduct of the Ravens’ talented roster at the onset of OTAs, Harbaugh got a little beside himself, to say the least.

"“I’m not going to swallow that hook. Joe Flacco has been a great quarterback from the day he got here, OK? You want to look back and say, ‘This has been the most talented offense in the National Football League for the last seven years, and they’ve carried Joe Flacco?’ You can say that if you want, but it’s ridiculous. Joe Flacco is a great player.He’s only going to get better. I think he’s hitting his stride, hitting the peak of his career, and I wouldn’t want any other quarterback in the National Football League – period. End of story. So, just write that and be done with it, because that’s the last I really want to hear about it.This guy is a superstar in the National Football League, and I’m thrilled to have him, and I can’t wait to see what he does this year with all that young talent around him. I love the young talent around him. I’m thrilled with what we have, and I just want to coach them. I just want to coach them with our guys and get out there and get after it and see where we can go with it. All set? I’m going to drop the bat on that one, and walk off. How’s that?”"

Most football fans worth their salt wouldn’t have the gall to say that Flacco is the best quarterback in the NFL, but you have to admire Harbaugh sticking by his guy here.  Why wouldn’t he?  Flacco isn’t going anywhere and he’s just entering the prime of his career.  What Flacco undoubtedly is, however, is underrated.

We’ve busted the myth that guys like Matt Ryan and Cam Newton are “better” quarterbacks than Joe Flacco in the past, so it’s no surprise that others are calling him underrated.  The latest is Fox Sports’ Evan Massey, who rates Flacco among the league’s top five underrated QB’s.  His reasoning is quite simple.

"Even though Flacco has proven himself with a Super Bowl win and quite a few playoff appearances, he still isn’t viewed as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Each and every season, he puts up above-average numbers and takes care of the football, and he will do so once again in 2015. There is no question that he is one of the league’s most underrated quarterbacks, and he will prove it once again this season with the Ravens."

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The other four quarterbacks on the list are Blake Bortles, E.J. Manuel, Ryan Tannehill, and Nick Foles. Suffice it to say, these four don’t have anything on Flacco, if we’re being serious.  Bortles and Manuel haven’t done anything on the field – yet.

Tannehill has shown a lot of potential and figures to continue his growth, and Foles flashed a little under Chip Kelly.  But can he do it with the Rams?  All four of these guys are obviously younger than Flacco, but none have accomplished even half as much either.

Which means that Joe Flacco might just be the most underrated quarterback in the league.  I certainly can’t think of anybody else who deserves the title more.  But as obvious as this might seem to you or me, the debate figures to rage on.

Thankfully, Ravens fans don’t have to care.  They can just sit back and watch the guy win games, year in and year out.  And that’s all that truly matters.

Next: Ravens are still the best team in the AFC North

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