The two quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, will forever be linked together due to being drafted in the same class in 2008. The two quarterbacks have missed the playoffs a combined one time in the last five seasons which is an incredible number when you consider the historical trends of young quarterbacks in the league. Both players sit in the top 10 in the league among the best in their position, but now that Flacco is a Super Bowl MVP, which of these players ranks ahead of the other?
You would have to give the edge to Flacco for right now at the very least. If you don’t, it goes against everything people have said in recent years in terms of the NFL being a quarterback driven league and how teams won’t survive without a good one. Going 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the playoffs is nothing to sneeze at no matter how many times people want to complain and make excuses about how Flacco supposedly threw jump balls in the air and he wouldn’t had gotten the money he just received if Jacoby Jones doesn’t catch the 70 yard touchdown pass in Mile High. That’s funny. If people want to play that game, can we all go back to two seasons ago and say if Lee Evans doesn’t drop a touchdown pass, the Baltimore Ravens likely would have gone to the Super Bowl. Oh no we wouldn’t want that. Because that would mean Flacco isn’t considered a lucky player and couldn’t be blamed for something.
Ryan, who was the most touted quarterback coming out of college in 2008, was even considered to be the number one overall player taken in the 2008 NFL draft at the time while Flacco was considered a question mark. He has done well for himself and for his team in this league, but he hasn’t done enough. Yet somehow he has not received the level of criticism for his playoff woes the way Flacco has despite having nine playoff wins under his belt compared to Ryan who just has one.
The stance against Flacco has always been the fact that he has had a good defense, and that right there is what I don’t understand. Did Tom Brady have a below average defense when he won his three Super Bowls? No. Did Ben Roethlisberger have a bad defense ever since he entered the league in 2004? No. So why is it when it comes to Flacco, all of that is swept under the rug? He always has to be the reason why the Ravens win and even then at times he won’t get credit.
This past season when Ryan won his first playoff game, the talk in the general public was Ryan got the monkey off his back. Excuse me? One playoff win gets the monkey off your back? Can you imagine Flacco having just one playoff win and people saying the monkey is off Flacco’s back? No way.
So Ryan is expecting a new contract this off-season. It will be interesting how that goes. If he gets paid more than Flacco, how many people in the media will go against him getting a $20+ million deal the way Flacco got his? It doesn’t seem likely that many would question it. But when it comes to Flacco, everything is fair game. If that isn’t a double standard, I don’t know what is.