Two days later — In Flacco vs. Fans, Joe delivers knockout blow

November 08, 2011 | Drew Forrester


Talk about punching your critics in the mouth.

Joe Flacco left his with a fat lip, bloodied and in need of stitches, in the aftermath of Sunday night’s thriller in Pittsburgh.

I guess that’s one way of handling the criticism, huh? Drive the team 92 yards in one of the most hostile environments in the league, against one of the NFL’s best defenses, and throw the game-winning strike to a rookie with eight seconds left in the game.

Do you need a towel for all that blood?

Despite being the only quarterback in the NFL to have won a playoff game in each of the last three seasons, Flacco saw the critic’s bandwagon swell this year as the Ravens paced their way to a 4-1 start before a disastrous night in Jacksonville gave the “told ya this guy stinks” fraternity more ammunition.

I wonder how full that fraternity’s belly is this morning, what with all that crow they stuffed in their mouths on Monday as they were forced to discuss Joe’s heroics on Sunday night?

Flacco, for one, privately enjoyed sticking it up his critic’s hind quarters. When asked about it after the game, Joe just meekly let out that “you know the answer but I’m not saying it” grin and said, “Anytime you win a game here, it’s good, because you know there were people who didn’t think you could do it.”

That’s as close to an “f-you” as you’ll ever get from Flacco, but it was good enough.

He knows the drill. He knows it all too well, in fact.

When the team wins and he plays well, he’ll get some credit for it.

When the team doesn’t win, he gets most of the blame.

That’s the way it is in New England, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Green Bay (except they don’t really lose anymore in Green Bay). And that’s the way it’s probably going to be in Baltimore too, because Flacco – in case you haven’t seen the stats since 2008 – has done a lot more winning than losing in his time in purple.

It’s fair to note, by the way, that the Ravens were privately concerned about Joe’s play in the Jacksonville and Tennessee losses, because he in no way resembled the same guy who performed so well against Pittsburgh in the season opener. But no one over in Owings Mills was EVER doubting Flacco’s long-term viability as the team’s franchise quarterback.

It’s always good to beat the Steelers, particularly in Pittsburgh.

And it’s always a joy to see someone face his critics head on and offer a quick jab to the mouth that reminds them once again who’s in charge.

It’s Joe Flacco’s football team.

Get your face cleaned up and enjoy the rest of the season.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Westminster Says:

    Great game for Joe. This was reminiscent of the Nutty Professor in which Professor Clump beat up and got rid of Buddy Love in the last scene. Hopefully, Dr Flacco has done the same to Mr Boller. Joe also seemed to have received the plays in time or was calling his own in the last drive because he a lot of time to survey the defense before snapping the ball. So give Cam some love too.

  2. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Flacco’s critics couldn’t find the center with a probe! It is Flacco’s team; however, from my vantage point, it appears as though Flacco has ALWAYS played the way the coaches want him to play. And, therein lies the…..rub! Of course, you and I will no doubt agree to disagree for a change…….

  3. Randy Says:

    Flacco was awesome on Sunday, but for the season, the stats don’t lie: 76.9 qb rating, 25th in the league
    AND THE TEAM IS 6-2, TIED FOR THE LOWEST LOSS TOTAL IN THE AFC. (DF: There, I fixed that for you, since you forgot to include the team’s record in your analysis of Flacco.)

  4. Franchise Says:


    Wasn’t it you who predicted a Raven loss at the Ketchup Bottle because you said Flacco couldn’t beat Big Ben at Heinz Field???

    Consider yourself a critic as well.

    Me on the other hand have always had the blind loyalty for Joe Flacco as our only FRANCHISE QB ever to wear the Purple and Black and he is a University of Delaware Blue Hen graduate drafted by Ozzie and Bisciotti 19th overall in the first round!!!! (DF: Actually, if you go back and read the piece, I said the “Ravens” couldn’t beat Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.)

    You are absolutely correct about one thing….Joe Kool is a WINNER!


    Franchise (UofD Class of 1985)

  5. Marcus Hablestram Says:

    It’s becoming obvious to the coaching staff that certain formations work for Flacco and certain formations are not as successful. It would be nice to run shotgun/hurry up more but we need to remember that Ray Rice is our best offensive weapon and teams START their game planning with him. We need to run the ball AND play fake but play fakes take a good amount of time and the O line has problems pass blocking for more than 3 seconds. This makes Flacco look bad when it’s really not his fault. I thought our game plan was perfect for Pittsburgh, it just got a little stale in the 3 quarter when we got a little too comfy with a 10 point lead. So, I would say when the offense starts to bog down and get in a rut, move to the hurry up NO MATTER THE SCORE. We shouldn’t wait until DEFCON 1 to put it in effect as was the case in the Jacksonville game, AZ game and PBurg.

  6. Jarrod Says:

    I disagree in a sense. Joe had a great game winning drive, no question about that. But, does one victory suddenly throw perspective out the window? To date, he has just about as many fumbles as TD’s. His completion percentage is still hovering around 55%, which in this day of age in a passing league is just not acceptable. I think Joe is still inconsistent, and I don’t believe that an unfair assessment. Hey, Vick has won a playoff game that does not mean the guy is suddenly an elite QB. Again, Joe is simply like a girl you dated in high school you may like her, but you don’t love her. I will enjoy the ride because at the end of the year, I think again we will be talking about a guy who is a 10-12 best QB in the league. Nothing wrong with that, but last week he was not as good as Matt Schaub and now suddenly he’s on the cusp of being elite or detractors should simply go away. I’ll hold my regards until we see the macro picture because right now many media outlets are simply seeing the micro view and running with it. (DF: You should pay more attention. He’s been in the NFL for three years. They’ve made the playoffs all three years. This will mark four staight years in the post-season. No one else in the league can say that.)

  7. Kim Dews Says:

    Excellent piece Drew…..

  8. Jim Traber Says:

    Agreed Drew – Baltimore fans want tp pull out the old saws that worked for them in the past to legitimize their criticism and make them seem like they understand the game.

    You said it before and you were correct, the worst thing that ever happened here was when the team traded up for Boller and after the first season with him we all knew he stunk, yet the team stuck with him. That turned every fan in town into an expert that knew more than the coaching staff and O coordinator. Now, any time we lose it’s time to fire the O coordinater and talk about how awful our QB is. Donald Fagan once wrote the lyric in the Steely Dan hit Re4elin in the Years ‘You wouldn’t know a diamond if you held it in your hand, the things you think are precious I can’t understand’ and he might as well have been talking about Ravens fans who think the QB with the highest rating wins the Super Bowl every year and that winning isn’t as important as having good stats. Time to learn how to be good fans Baltimore – support the team in good times and bad, and really enjoy them when they are having this kjingd of seasoon because it doesn’t happen that often – int he competitive world of the NFL it can’t! (Disclaimer – Ravens season ticket holder since 1996, PSL deposit made in 1994 for Jacksonville bid. I think tholse of us who have been paying attentiona little closer for a little longer may have a different perspective then the reactionaries in the fan base who seem to jump on and offf the bandwagon.)

  9. Jay Davis Says:

    I’m one of those die hard Flacco supporters. Given that he was placed in the starting quarterback position on day one of his professional career, he has performed better than any objective Baltimore fan could have expected. He has been a winner who continues to improve. And for once, I’d like to see the dropped pass stats on his receivers. Maybe that may be contributing to his lower completion percentage this year.

  10. jpetrosino Says:

    The Seattle game will be a validation game. If we lose, then it negates the Steeler win. It cannot be stressed enough that after the Steeler game on Sunday night, the Seattle game is the second most important game on our schedule. We cannot afford another Jax like game against a weak apponent.

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