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.