TSL Give-N-Go: Is Joe Flacco Elite Or Just Merely Good?

So, is Flacco elite?

DJ: Next month, Denzel Washington should take home his second career leading man Oscar for portraying a fictional pilot, who, crash lands a passenger jet utilizing miraculous last resort flight maneuvers. Likewise, Flacco has piloted the Ravens offense and saved the season for 51 other teammates courtesy of similar Hail Mary tactics.

Flacco is developing a habit of outdueling future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. He’s the only starting quarterback not to throw a pick in the 2013 postseason, leads all quarterbacks with eight touchdowns and boasts the highest playoff passer rating. Captain Flacco’s pocket presence and poise under pressure align him with the best of the best of the best. If not for a few crucial playoff drops by Lee Evans and TJ Houshmandzadeh, Flacco may be working on a second or third Super Bowl ring. Josh Freeman is a really good quarterback with a howitzer for an arm. Flacco is elite.

Boadu: Does one good playoff run make you elite? We didn’t respect Eli’s gangster until he did it consistently, so why should we respect Flacco’s? Right now he’s just good and that’s even if he wins a Super Bowl.

You disagree? Who’s a better QB, Brad Johnson or Dan Marino? Marino right, but he doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring and Johnson does. Notice how winning a Super Bowl doesn’t automatically make you elite. Do you slowly feel the Flacco hype leaving your body? Just let it happen bro. To be elite requires consistency and Flacco has been anything but that thus far in his career.


Is Flacco someone who you trust regardless of what his stats say?

DJ: In Flacco I trust for the same reason we do Eli Manning and Big Ben. When fight-or-flight situations arise, Joe keeps his cool, bounces off the mat, puts the team on his back and regularly wins big games under the bright lights. Flacco’s postseason career is the antithesis of Trent Dilfer stowing away in coach to Super Bowl XXXV.

The word clutch gets thrown around in pro sports like kush in a Wiz Khalifa studio session, but multiple studies have proven that it’s not a myth. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s a fact that athletes perform differently when they have the implicit knowledge that every play carries a greater importance late in close contests when anxieties arise. Flacco posted the fourth-highest fourth quarter passer rating in the NFL this season and he’s been grillin’ defenses like Foreman in the ultimate pressure cooker—postseason football.

Boadu: Would you trust a convicted thief in your house even if he told you he had changed? His mouth is saying one thing, but his wrap sheet is saying another. Those stats aren’t lying when they Rosanne Barr National Anthem scream that Flacco is slightly above average. Flacco does have 10 4th quarter comebacks under his belt and 15 game winning drives, but he’s lost a lot of games before the 4th quarter has ever started. I can’t ignore his 2-1 interception ratio and his inconsistency.


Right now rank all the QBs you think are better?


1. Aaron Rodgers

2. Tom Brady

3. Drew Brees

4. Peyton Manning

5. Eli Manning

6. Ben Roethlisberger

7. Jay Cutler

8. Matt Ryan

9. Joe Flacco


1. Brady

2. Peyton Manning

3. Aaron Rodgers

4. Drew Brees

5. Ben Roethlisberger

6. Eli Manning

7. Russell Wilson

8. Robert Griffin III

9. Colin Kaepernick

10. Joe Flacco

Jay Cutler makes too many unprovoked throws into the arms of defensive backs and is a poor team leader when things don’t go his way. Wilson, Kaepernick and Griffin are on the brink of raiding the top though.


Is he in the top 5?

DJ: Flacco’s not top five but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, Eli Manning and Flacco have had very similar careers so there’s time for Flacco to make a similar leap.

Boadu: Nope. Newp. Naw cuz….Flacco top 5? Ask yourself if you’d rather have Joe Flacco over Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Eli Manning? Be honest with yourself and take your emotions out of it please.


What is his greatest strength?

DJ: Different strokes for different folks. Peyton Manning is so intelligent that he dissects defenses pre-snap and his anticipation skills are on par with Marty McFly in a DeLorean. Drew Brees is more accurate than Nate Silver with an electoral map, while RG3 and Colin Kaepernick are swiss army knives under center. Tom Brady has more rings in his chest than Kim Kardashian because he’s king of the checkdown.

The Mile High Miracle was no fluke-o. Flacco’s completion percentage will always be middle of the pack, but he is one of the most accurate deep ball hurlers in the league. En route to collecting nearly 4,000 airfare yards this season, Flacco completed more 25+ yard passes than any quarterback not named Drew Brees, in far fewer attempts.

Boadu: Flacco’s arm has been referred to as a Howitzer, a rocket launcher, a cannon, but I like to call it “the light show.” When he drops back after a play action fake, cocks his arm back and let’s the ball fly it light’s up the sky and exposes everything. It exposes the clouds, the field, and most importantly defensive backs. The Flacco deep ball is like a guided missile — it’s going to find its target, you can bet that. If you’ve got a WR that can take the top off of a defense or that can go up and fight for a ball, Flacco can get it there and if something does go awry it’s most often a defensive pass interference penalty.

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