2011 has been a bit of a rough season for Joe Flacco as it’s his worst statistical season over the course of his four-year career.
Flacco may have led his Baltimore Ravens to a 12-4 record and the No. 2 seed in the AFC, but his stats are mediocre at best.
Flacco played in all 16 games this past season while posting an 80.9 quarterback rating. He completed a career-low 57.6 percent of his passes while throwing 20 touchdowns and tying a career high in interceptions as he was picked off 12 times.
Despite having the 19th-best pass offense in the league, Flacco and his Baltimore Ravens are going to be playing for an appearance in Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday against the New England Patriots—but it’s going to come down to which Flacco decides to show up against Tom Brady and New England’s high-flying aerial assault.
Some may believe that Flacco is a winner, as he’s the only quarterback in the last four years to have made playoff appearances, but he’s been rather horrendous in the postseason.
Throughout Flacco’s career in the playoffs, he’s completed only 53.1 percent of his passes while averaging only 153.3 yards per carry and has thrown only six touchdowns compared to seven interceptions—those stats are nothing that you want to be bragging about.
History definitely shows that Flacco is not a very good playoff quarterback.
However, when you take a look at how Flacco did against playoff teams this regular seasons, he actually played extremely well.
Flacco played against seven playoff teams and won all seven of those games. In those seven games, he completed 61.5 percent of his passes while compiling 1,566 passing yards, tossing 10 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions and posting a stellar 97.3 quarterback rating.
Entering Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, Baltimore needs the “good” Joe Flacco to show up, not the Joe Flacco that has historical struggled in the playoffs.
This will be just Flacco’s second ever appearance in the AFC Championship as his first one was one that he would love to remember. He finished the game against thePittsburgh Steelers with a putrid 18.2 quarterback rating while completing just 13 of his 31 passes and being picked off three times.
We all know that Brady and New England’s offense will score some points, no matter how well Baltimore’s defense plays. It’s going to be up to Flacco and Baltimore’s offense to take advantage of the very few stops and turnovers that their defense will come up with in order to win this game.
The way I look at it is that Flacco reminds me a lot of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez from a year ago. Sanchez was not that impressive at all in the regular season in his two games against the New England Patriots, but showed up in the playoffs against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Sanchez threw for only 194 yards but posted a 127.3 quarterback rating as he threw three touchdowns and did not turn the ball over.
If Flacco can be an effective game-manager and complete a high percentage of his passes and not turn the ball over, then Baltimore will certainly increase their chances of knocking off the AFC’s No. 1 seed.