Joe Flacco By The Numbers and Historic Achievements


Joe Flacco is one of those quarterbacks that doesn’t fall into a category. From a national perspective fans have a hard time putting him into the “elite category” because his numbers don’t pop off the page. From a Baltimore perspective Flacco is a legend and the statistics are a little deceiving. Let’s take a look at the numbers to get a true quantitative assessment of Flacco’s merit.

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Joe Flacco has never had a season of 4,000 yards passing or more. This is a number that many of his critics will point to strengthen their case. The counter point to this is that the Ravens never asked Flacco to put up those kinds of numbers. They have always been a team that likes their running game to be the foundation of their offense.

The Ravens have also failed to get him a great set of weapons and the offensive line has been inconsistent in his tenure. It is worth noting that Flacco was on pace for a 4,000 plus yard season in 2015 before he got injured and he had to do it all for the Ravens.

Flacco also gets criticized for his interceptions. While some of his picks are mind boggling and frustrating, his touchdown to interception ratio has always been pretty healthy. The lone exception to this is when Flacco threw 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 2013 behind the worst offensive line the Ravens ever had. He is usually good for 20 something touchdowns and 10 to 12 interceptions a season. His best season was in 2014 when he threw for 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The numbers that his critics overlook are the numbers in the record books. These are the numbers that really matter. Flacco has won more road playoff games than any quarterback in NFL history. He is tied with Tom Brady for the most playoff games with two touchdowns and no interceptions (7 games). He tied a playoff record held by Joe Montana and Kurt Warner for the most touchdowns without an interception in a playoff run (11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions). We’re just getting started on the historical achievements.

Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Flacco was the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games. And no QB won more games in their first six seasons than Flacco. No other quarterback has won a playoff game in his first five seasons. No other quarterback has had a playoff run where their passer rating was over 100 in all four playoff games. Basically Flacco has a lot of NFL postseason records in his eight year career.

You may rightfully say that winning is a team stat. My caveat to that is that Flacco was such an integral part in all of those wins. The Ravens didn’t win in spite of Flacco, he helped get the victories with key throws, even in his rookie season. You cannot separate the success from Flacco, sorry you just cannot do it. He has accomplishments that other great quarterbacks don’t have so I think you can put him in the class of great NFL passers.

The even better news for his critics is that he isn’t done yet. Flacco can continually show the doubters why they were so wrong about him. My argument isn’t that he is a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers like quarterback. My argument isn’t that he is a top 10 quarterback of all time (though he may end up on that list if he keeps it up).

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My argument isn’t one based on bias or emotions. My argument is that Flacco is special, that he is a brand of greatness that we’ve never seen before. Flacco is a quarterback that you can win with. He is a strong armed tough guy, who steps up in the biggest moments. With a big game on the line, Flacco is the quarterback the Ravens are happy to have under center.