At some point in every NFL season, the topic of who is considered elite when it comes to quarterbacks always tends to rustle some feathers. The usual names like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Ben Roethlisberger regularly come up in the conversation.
After witnessing the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, I would like to add Joe Flacco to that list. Of course, the only thing that Flacco doesn’t have that the aforementioned signal callers do have is a Super Bowl title. However, Flacco’s ability to lead his team to victories throughout his five-year career provides a legitimate argument that he does deserve to be mentioned among the best.
Since entering the league in 2008, Flacco has started every game, and has a regular season record of 54-26 (68 winning percentage) and currently is 8-4 (67 percent) in the postseason. In addition, Flacco has appeared in three AFC Championship title games.
Though his regular season numbers are modest, Flacco’s ability to be clutch enough in the playoffs proves that he is one of the elite. The fact that Flacco is the only quarterback in NFL history to win at least one postseason game in each of his first five seasons in the league definitely supports the case of the five-year veteran.
Even with the pedestrian statistics, Flacco has shown significant progress year after year. Looking at last season’s conference championship, Flacco did drive his team to within a few yards of a Super Bowl berth, which unfortunately ended in a dropped touchdown pass and a missed field goal (both not his fault).
Fast forward to this season, Flacco has been undoubtedly the best quarterback in the postseason. The 2008 first-round draft pick has thrown for 853 yards, eight touchdowns, and zero interceptions in Baltimore’s three playoff games this year. Now he has his team one victory away from calling themselves Super Bowl champions.
Some still may think that Flacco doesn’t deserve to be mentioned among the best of the best, and everyone has a right to their opinion. But if by chance the Ravens come away with the Lombardi Trophy on February 3rd, there should be no question of whether Flacco is deserving to be called elite.
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller