Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Following an outstanding playoff run resulting in a Super Bowl victory, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was rewarded with a six-year, $120.6 million contract. Unfortunately for Flacco, accepting a large sum of money like that will be putting him under a microscope (more so than an NFL quarterback already is subject to).  The Super Bowl XLVII MVP has spent a good part of his NFL career being scrutinized about his “elite” status as a quarterback. But while that debate is still going on, there are a few things to look for from Flacco this upcoming season that could help the discussion. Joe Flacco (Photo credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 1. Consistency In the 2012 postseason, Flacco played four of the best games of his career, one after another.  It started with his performance in the Ravens 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card round of the 2012-2013 season playoffs. In Denver, his 70 yard launch to Jacoby Jones with about thirty seconds left in regulation was another one for the books. After a double-overtime winning field goal in the Mile High City, the Ravens made their way to New England, where Flacco looked relaxed throwing pass after pass for a 28-13 win over the Patriots. Lastly, he lead his team to Super Bowl victory and claimed the title of Super Bowl MVP. But do not expect Flacco’s most recent playoff run to carry into the 2013 season right away. The quarterback has been notorious for his inconsistency in the regular season. With a lot of young receivers on offense this year, it may take a little while to adjust. Joe Flacco has always seemed to struggle toward the beginning of the season and always hits his prime right around playoff time, which is great for the Ravens in the postseason. However, without a great regular season record, the road to the Super Bowl becomes a little more difficult. 2. Another playoff opportunity Like every other NFL team, the Ravens would love to have a first round bye in the playoffs. Even with the odds already stacked against Flacco in the season opener against the Denver Broncos, he has to focus on one game at a time if he wants to lead his team to the playoffs with a first round bye. Flacco only trails seven other quarterbacks in NFL history with the most playoff wins. Notching nine postseason wins in only five seasons, it is no mystery that Flacco has his sights set on more playoff wins. If his last playoff run was no indication, Flacco has the potential to lead his team to the playoffs again. He just has to pick up where he left off back in February. 3. More of a leadership role It’s no secret that Ray Lewis was the Ravens leader for quite some time. But don’t be surprised when Flacco steps up as a leader this season. Of course, “Joe Cool” is not as enthusiastic as Lewis, but he will be a leader for the team. Look for Flacco to run the no-huddle more this season. Jim Caldwell will be starting his first full season as the Ravens offensive coordinator and will be looking to Flacco to step up and help him run the offense as fluently as possible. The Ravens have players like Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice to lead them emotionally. Flacco will be the go-to guy when it comes to leading the players out on the field during the game. 4. Better Numbers Joe Flacco’s numbers have never been all that impressive on paper. But with the installment of Jim Caldwell, here’s to hoping that changes. Watch for Flacco to throw for more touchdowns this season with all of the eligible receivers on the Ravens’ roster. That is not to say that Ray Rice won’t be getting as many carries, but the “Flacco handoff to Rice in the middle” is getting a bit routine. If Flacco can throw for 25 touchdowns this season, file that under a great success for the quarterback. Flacco’s quarterback rating this past season was very low, especially for a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He received a 46.8 rating last season, ranking 25th in the league. It appears that Flacco’s numbers can only go up next season. But it all goes back to consistency in order to bring up his total QBR. (Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Expect Flacco to lead the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year as well as bringing up his numbers. But don’t expect the route to the postseason to be smooth sailing. Flacco will most likely find a way to make it, as he always does. Just hold onto hope that the quarterback will bring the same fire he brought to the postseason in the first half of the 2013 season. Related Articles Baltimore Ravens: Replacing Boldin Baltimore Ravens: Rehabilitating the defense Major offseason adjustments for the Baltimore Ravens
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.