Fact check: Joe Flacco is one of the NFL’s best playoff quarterbacks ever
Many will debate Joe Flacco‘s career and whether or not it was truly special, but there’s one thing no one can take away from him: his post-season success.
A Super Bowl champion and MVP. A winning pedigree in the post-season. Clutch play when it mattered most. Joe Flacco is all of these things and will be remembered fondly in Baltimore, Maryland for his incredible accomplishments.
Outside the state of Maryland, however, Joe Flacco remains a bit of a taboo topic.
“Is Joe Flacco elite?” was a question that infuriated everyone who heard it asked. If you weren’t a fan of the Ravens you likely hated Flacco because of how often he was discussed and debated. It’s understandable, and if you look at the regular season stats there isn’t much substance to argue for him being “elite.”
But there’s one area that Joe Flacco seemed to consistently dominate much to people’s dismay: his post-season play.
CBS posted a very interesting tweet yesterday highlighting some of Joe Flacco’s post-season statistics and how they stack up against other Hall of Fame, or one day will get there, quarterbacks. The tweet speaks for itself:
The tweet says it all pretty clear: Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback in the playoffs. It burns your ears, doesn’t it, haters? Well as a famous Ben Shapiro once said, “facts don’t care about your feelings.”
With that being said, let’s digest this all this a little bit…
Joe Flacco is in the top-ten for most wins in the post-season with ten. Flacco is tied with Aaron Rodgers here, a quarterback who can be argued to be the greatest ever. For what it’s worth, the two have the same amount of Super Bowl wins, as well. The tweet highlights Drew Brees as the headliner for quarterbacks Flacco has more wins than, but there’s a slew of other Hall of Fame quarterbacks he’s ahead of, too, such as Ken Stabler, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Bart Starr, Jim Kelly, and Kurt Warner. Flacco also has more playoff wins than others like Russell Wilson, Donovan McNabb, and Eli Manning… all of whom could wind up in Canton one day.
I hear you cry, “wins aren’t a quarterback stat!” and normally I’d agree with you. When it comes to football, there is no other sport more team-oriented. But playoff wins are a whole other story, especially Super Bowl wins; something that Joe Flacco has. Flacco’s win percentage (.667) is not only better than Peyton Manning’s (.519) but also others such as Roger Staubach (.647), Brett Favre (.542), Aaron Rodgers (.556), Steve Young (.571), Dan Marino (.444), Russell Wilson (.600), Jim Kelly (.529)… you get the idea.
The touchdown passes are impressive especially with some context. In Joe Flacco’s first five playoff games he threw just one touchdown against six interceptions. Through his next ten games, he tossed 24 touchdowns against four interceptions. Flacco also had that tremendous playoff run in 2012 that saw him throw an NFL record 11 post-season touchdown passes. Oh yeah, and he also threw zero interceptions in that same run. Flacco is one of just three quarterbacks to throw 11 touchdown passes in a playoff run (Joe Montana, Kurt Warner) and just one of two to not throw a single interception (Montana).
Let’s go back to that playoff run for a second. Joe Flacco became the man in those 2012 playoffs. The Baltimore Ravens won the AFC North crown with a 10-6 record but were far from being a heavy-weight to win the Super Bowl. Flacco set the sports world on fire with his playoff run, beating teams such as the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots, and eventually the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, who were the team many pegged to win it all.
The rest of the stats are pretty cool to look at aesthetically, but the stats that matter most are the ones where Joe Flacco shines brighter than others. If we were to throw out regular season stats and biases, perhaps Flacco would get more love that he rightfully deserves.
You can hate all you want, but the stats and the play back up the claim that Joe Flacco is elite in the post-season. In other words, when it mattered most, Flacco pulled up and won. You don’t have to like it, but the fact is that Flacco is one of the league’s greatest post-season quarterbacks of all-time. There’s no debating it. End of discussion.