He may not be the most consistent or flashy regular season quarterback, but Joe Flacco has become one of the most consistent postseason quarterbacks in the NFL.
Flacco outdueled Peyton Manning as the Baltimore Ravens won a game in which they were a 10-point underdog and trailed in multiple times. Flacco made huge, game-changing plays when the Ravens needed him the most. When the game was on the line, it was Manning not Flacco who made the big mistake.
Flacco now has seven postseason wins in his five seasons and has beaten the likes of Manning and Tom Brady. Even though Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Ravens last season in the AFC Championship game, Flacco outplayed Brady. If not for a Lee Evans dropped touchdown pass in the final minute, it would have been Flacco in the Super Bowl.
Flacco has nine passing touchdowns, one interception and is averaging just under 275 yards passing per game in his last four postseason games. Flacco is 3-1 over that stretch as he has emerged as one of the more reliable postseason quarterbacks in the league.
Flacco and the Ravens will get another shot at Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, after they fell just short last season.
The Ravens are 2-3 in their last five games against the Patriots, but Flacco has been the better quarterback over the course of this rivalry.
Flacco has a higher completion percentage, more touchdowns, less interceptions and is averaging just one less yard passing per game than Brady in their last five match-ups. Flacco has severely outplayed Brady in the last three match-ups, so the most recent history clearly favors Flacco also.
Another factor in Flacco’s favor is that he gets to take on a Patriots’ pass defense that ranked 29th in the NFL during the regular season. Considering Flacco is leading the league in passer rating in the playoffs and gets to take on a porous pass defense that he has shredded in recent match-ups, the Ravens must like their chances.
With a motivated and healthy defense led by Ray Lewis hounding Brady and the Patriots, and Flacco performing at a very high level, this may finally be the year Flacco and the Ravens reach the Super Bowl.
If that does in fact happen, don’t be surprised if Flacco outplays Brady as he continues to write his own postseason lore.