It’s a question that is asked every week it seems. And that is fundamentally why Joe Flacco is not elite? Elite status isn’t just gained overnight. Joe Flacco did not all of sudden become elite because he beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. Those who call him elite are just as bad as those jokers like Skip Bayless who doubt his abilities.
Before we continue, let’s be clear on this as well. Joe Flacco did not win that game Sunday night. A pass interference call won the Ravens that game. I know this may not be what you want to hear but it’s the truth. Had Devin McCourty not fallen on his face going after a ball thrown over Boldin’s head, Flacco would’ve been picked off, the Ravens would have lost and there would’ve been people calling for his head.
The biggest characteristic of being an elite quarterback is consistency. Joe Flacco just isn’t consistent. Too many times have we seen him have downright bad games. Just look at the Eagles’ game two weeks ago. He, at times, looks completely rattled out there.
Since he was drafted he has only been in the top ten in completion percentage and touchdowns once. He was 10th in both categories in 2010. He has never been top ten in yards. You just can’t consider a person elite when these are the stats you are looking at. He is consistently in the top 15 in these categories every year, however, which proves that he is very good quarterback.
The biggest argument for Flacco being elite is the number of wins he has had. You are kidding yourself if you think Flacco is directly responsible for every single one of those. In fact, he isn’t. There have been plenty games over the years where he has played very mediocre and the Ravens have still come away with the win.
Another quality of elite status is stellar production in the playoffs. The fact is, Flacco has underperformed in the playoffs. He has a 53% completion percentage with 8 TD’s and 8 interceptions. That is NOT elite.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not “hating” on Joe Flacco. I have been one of his biggest supporters since he came to Baltimore. I think Joe Flacco is a very good to great (at times) quarterback. He just isn’t elite. He is not on the level of Brady, Roethlisberger, or Brees. Let’s be real here, the guy hasn’t even been to the Super Bowl.
But let’s not forget who Flacco has had to deal with over his four years in the league. He has had Cam Cameron, who couldn’t even make Drew Brees look elite during his time in San Diego. He has had to deal with some less than stellar wide receivers as well who have dropped some crucial balls (ahem…T.J., Lee I’m looking at you).
It just baffles me that we have this debate every week. I’ll say it again. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Why does Flacco have to be judged in such extremes? It seems like he is either elite or he is terrible. Especially so in Baltimore. Joe Flacco is a very good quarterback who at times has horrible games. Why does Flacco have to be elite? Well, he doesn’t. He can be just what he is. Very good. And that’s what allowed the Ravens to win so many games over the years.
Through three games this year, Flacco is top five in yards and touchdowns. So maybe this is the year he proves he deserves to be among the elite. But like I said it doesn’t happen overnight and he may have to at least reach a Super Bowl to gain the label. That’s exactly what it is though, a label. And whether or not he has that label doesn’t take away from the fact that he is very good and has won a lot of games.
But please. Can we just put this tiresome debate to rest for a few weeks?