Joe Flacco's ability to be an elite QB has been questioned all season. I've been one that has doubted his ability all regular season and throughout the playoffs. Has anyone, including me, changed our opinions heading into the Super Bowl?
Joe Flacco started the season by stating he was not only an elite QB, but the best QB in the league. I know some people like to criticize players when they make claims like that, but I'm not one of them. If an NFL player doesn't think they are the best in the league at what they do, they wouldn't be in the NFL. If a player wants to make that statement, good for them. All I ask is that they give 100% all the time.
This season he ended up 14th in passing yards, 15th in passing TDs but near the bottom of the league in completion percentage. His yardage and TD numbers aren't elite but it's his completion percentage that always sticks out to me. I don't like a QB that can't complete passes when he needs to in a game. The ability to extend drives on third downs and keep the offense moving are keys to being an elite QB.
Headed into the postseason I didn't expect anything different out of Flacco. The Ravens changed offensive coordinators before the end of the season and changed their offensive line right before the playoffs. The Ravens were set for an early playoff exit.
However, an interesting thing happened. The Ravens started to click on offense. Flacco was getting time to make some deep throws and the running game came together. The Ravens actually have an explosive offense with Ray Rice setting up the running game and Flacco taking advantage of his big arm and hitting big plays down field to Torrey Smith. The Ravens offense looks very complete with a pair of running backs plus downfield weapons including a solid TE.
I think the key to their success is the fact that the offensive line is playing at a high level. Without an offensive line that can open holes and protect the QB, a team is not going to make it to the Super Bowl.
I'm still not ready to call Joe Flacco elite. I'm not going to draft him #1 in my fantasy league. I'm not going to put him ahead of Brady, Brees or Rodgers. But, he beat Manning in Denver and Brady in New England. Joe Flacco can play QB and has solidified his spot as a very good QB in the NFL.
He's not #1 but he's definitely a top 10 QB and you could argue he's top 5.
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