Justin Tucker as Ravens MVP? Sure…after all, who else could it be?

December 24, 2013 | Drew Forrester

If Flacco’s 2013 stat line was something like 3,800 yards passing, 22 TD’s, 10 INT’s (that’s what they were LAST season), it would be easy to say, “He had a safe, efficient season.”

The turn-overs, though, separate a safe, efficient season from an average-at-best campaign.

In Flacco’s case, the turnovers in the losses at Buffalo and Chicago, coupled with Sunday’s two pick performance at home vs. the Patriots, make it easy to say, simply, “He’s been closer to the problem than the solution this season.”


Not when you’re making $60 million of guaranteed money over a three year period.

You just can’t be throwing the ball to the other team nineteen times, particularly when the team’s overall margin for error is thin to say the least.

The Ravens are limited offensively.  That means the quarterback – more than anyone – has to engineer the team in the safest, most reliable method possible.  Turning the ball over a total of 21 times yourself — that’s NOT a recipe for reliability.

Tom Brady has Julian Edelman and three or four other guys none of us even knew existed and he’s working on a 4,200 yard season with 24 TD’s and 10 INT’s.  Yes, I know it’s dangerous to put the words Brady and Flacco in the same sentence from a comparison standpoint, but you don’t see “Tommy” have a stinker of a regular season — ever.

There’s always the argument of the difference between the most “valuable” player and the most “outstanding” player.  In this case, specifically, Flacco hasn’t been either.  The Ravens are 8-7.  In at least four of those losses, the quarterback’s play was a contributing factor.  He didn’t “lose” the games, per se, but he wasn’t good enough, either.

It’s possible to be 8-7 through 15 games and have your quarterback be the team MVP.  Philip Rivers (4200 yards, 29 TD’s, 10 INT’s) is clearly the MVP of the Chargers, whether they make the playoffs on Sunday or come up a game short.

In the Ravens’ case, there’s no way a quarterback with 18 TD’s and 19 INT’s (plus two fumbles lost) is the most “valuable” player on this season’s 8-7 squad.

Honestly, I don’t think Flacco is in my top 3 for MVP voting.  I’d put Jimmy Smith and, of course, Tucker ahead of him.

Now — let’s also quell any whispers or shouts from the peanut gallery about Joe Flacco’s status in Baltimore.  This “average at best” season for Flacco doesn’t mean Ozzie Newsome made the wrong call in paying his Super Bowl MVP last March.

He didn’t.

Players of all makes and models have “off years”.  I don’t think Terrell Suggs has had a particularly great season, honestly.  I’d consider it somewhat of an off-year for him, even though he’s been much better in run support than in season’s past.  As I always like to remind everyone, “the other team tries too.”  So, just because Flacco and the offense have sputtered in 2013, there’s no reason to think ’14 can’t be an improvement with some upgrades on the line and in the pass catching department.

And better play from #5.

Joe Flacco is a very good quarterback.

He just hasn’t had a very good season in 2013.

Which, more than anything else, is why a kicker won the team’s MVP award yesterday.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. BmoreB Says:

    We had a good run…. 5 straight years in the playoffs, culminating in SB 47

    P.S. It wasn’t just Flacco that had an off year, it was everyone with the exception of 2. JT & JS were the only consistent players, no one else, no one.

  2. Robert Says:

    No arguments from me regarding Tucker as the Raven’s MVP as no other player deserved it. I too am grateful for the past 5 seasons with the Super Bowl “cherry on top”. Merry Christmas and goodwill to the WNST staff and listeners. Cheers.

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    I agree with you Drew, Flacco & the whole offense are not M.V.P. worthy, they all have to step up there game! Caldwell, I think you will see being replaced at the end of the year, he really showed nothing with the offense. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all !!!

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    Merry Christmas. I hope Ozzie tells all the scouts that we need to get at least 2 good starters from the next draft.

  5. tsnamm Says:

    I’m with you on Joe, Drew…I pointed out early in the pre-season that he was throwing too many interceptions. Back then many poo-pooed it saying “it was just the pre-season”. But the poor decision making with the football continued. I’m not sure if Joe felt he needed to justify his contract, and was trying to force the ball, or whatever, but ball security is something he will need to improve upon on in 2014. A couple of those poor decisions happened in the red and or end zone too. If he had 50% less turnovers I think that it would have had a positive impact on our record. That being said, running for his life most of the season, especially early on didn’t help matters at all. He’s also been sacked and knocked down/hit WAY more than he should have or ever has for that matter. Perhaps with some better recievers and some protection we will see a return to the Joe we had for the 1st 5 years…

  6. Dan Says:

    Who else could it be ? ,
    1ooo yards recieving , , again , , 6 touchdowns ,
    Boldin ? , , oh nevermind 😉

  7. Vince Says:

    Kind of hard to get production from running game when you only have 2 plays. Hand off left from shotgun and hand off right from shotgun.

    Rice has always had Leach in front. This year, it’s like Leach isn’t allowed to block for Rice.

  8. The Armchair QB Says:

    Who else? How ’bout Joe Flacco! How many games would they have won with Tyrod Taylor at QB?????

  9. Chuck Says:

    Dan is right. Boldin should win the MVP in absentia. Just as Peyton Manning should have won the league MVP in 2011 when the Colts won just two games in his absence, and Rodgers the Packers’ MVP this season.

    Flacco absolutely should have received no consideration. Through 16 weeks (a meaningful sample) he has the 33rd lowest passer rating, right behind Matt McGloin and right ahead of Schaub, Weeden, Manning (Eli, not Peyton), Terrelle Pryor and Geno Smith.

  10. OVER40DON Says:

    I seem to see Ladarius making an awful lot tackles and don’t remember him having a bad game. Of course on TV coverage you don’t see everything but for a small guy he sure seemed to be in on a lot of tackles.

    Does it count against the salary cap for coaches? Pay Ray Lewis millions if it doesn’t. His persona alone is worth it. He could be the 1st coach in the history of the NFL leading his team unto the field.

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