Ever since Joe Flacco signed his new six year deal worth $120 million with the Baltimore Ravens, the vibe around the league has been the idea that Flacco has to prove to everyone that he can be the guy do to his new deal.
Wait a minute. Isn’t Flacco the main reason why the Ravens just won a championship?
Then who was? A defense that set the NFL record in the playoffs allowing the most yards per game than any other team in league history? Please tell me we are not still going over the argument of Flacco having a defense that has helped him be successful. That is the calling card these days to point out whenever someone mentions Flacco performing well.
With the criticism Flacco has had to endure for much of his career, he could flame out from here on out and still prove everyone wrong.
Now granted, every quarterback in the NFL has to deal with some sort of pressure. But Flacco right now certainly isn’t near the top of the list. If anything, that honor should go to Matt Ryan, who was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons as the player many believed should have been the first overall pick in the draft.
Ryan has one playoff win over his five year career. His team has Julio Jones and Roddy White, who are regarded as the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL, not to mention Tony Gonzalez. If you can’t win with that talent, when can you win?
Scoring two points in a wild card game in the playoffs with that talent is laughable. Ryan is obviously a top 10 quarterback in the NFL as is Flacco, but it’s Ryan’s time to show up.
Yet, there has been a strange phenomenon where Flacco has been the headline player taking all of the criticism more times than not, especially when the Ravens lose. Ryan, meanwhile, hasn’t really gone through any legit pressure to perform.
Flacco just threw for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the playoffs and somehow, that’s gotten to be on the back burner. Ryan wins one playoff game, and people say the monkey is off Ryan’s back.
I don’t know why that is. There is no reason as to why Flacco, being champion at this moment, should be dealing with even more pressure — especially when the statement has already been made.
Wola Odeniran covers the Baltimore Ravens for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @WolaOdeniran.