Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA;Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to throw against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco is Elite

In recent years there has been much debate about NFL quarterbacks and which of them are “Elite.”

ESPN analysts are generally the ones we listen to every year in this discussion. They talk about how great a player’s stats are and why they make their team better. Their big focus is always how well a quarterback performs in the postseason.

After Super Bowl XLVII came to a close on Sunday night and Joe Flacco was named MVP many people began questioning if that was finally enough to make him elite. The answer is yes.

Flacco led his team to victory with 286 yards passing and three touchdowns. The biggest number is zero interceptions. Flacco had an 11-0 touchdown to interception rate in the playoffs.

If the entire conversation is based off of statistics and primarily post-season statistics there is no doubt Joe Flacco is elite. In fact Flacco is more elite than Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

QB Wins Loses Win % TD INT Rating SB Wins
Eli Manning 8 3 0.727 17 8 72.06 2
Ben Roethilsberger 10 4 0.714 20 17 81.01 2
Tom Brady 17 7 0.708 42 22 85.91 3
Joe Flacco 9 4 0.692 19 8 78.70 1
Aaron Rodgers 5 3 0.625 18 5 101.83 1
Drew Brees 5 4 0.556 22 4 102.4 1
Peyton Manning 9 11 0.450 32 21 86.23 1

Ok, so maybe saying he is more elite is a little difficult to convey. Based on pure winning percentages alone Flacco is 4th in the league.

Flacco has won a playoff game in all 5 seasons he has been in the NFL. The more daunting task may have been winning on the road. This season alone the Ravens beat Peyton Manning in Denver and Tom Brady in New England, not many quarterbacks can boast that feature.

After this season Flacco’s career TD-INT rate is much better and comparable to Eli Manning’s. Flacco’s only concern at this point is still consistency. He showed a flash of greatness this year, but he will need a few more years of it to allow everyone to call him elite.

The consistency side of things is confusing too. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have each had one good season in the playoffs. Each of those seasons culminated into a Super Bowl championship. Why call them elite if they are inconsistent as well?

Those players are all called elite because of their stellar regular seasons. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning each have thrown for multiple passing records. Aaron Rodgers, well, I don’t know about him. Ask Trent Dilfer and he’ll tell you it is because Rodgers has great technique and does everything right.

Eli Manning has won two Super Bowls and two MVP titles to go along with them. However, in the other three seasons the Giants have reached the postseason, Eli has lost in the first round. Flacco has at least won one game in every postseason. Not to mention Flacco has led the Ravens to the playoffs every year since entering the NFL in 2008.

Perchance Flacco’s biggest fault was proclaiming himself elite. Maybe a more modest approach would have earned the respect of his colleagues and ESPN analysts.

No matter which way any reporter, writer, blogger or joe schmoe calls it Flacco has caught the league’s attention. With attention comes a bigger paycheck. Unfortunately for the Ravens Flacco is due a new contract and will want to be paid accordingly.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Ben Roethlisberger Eli Manning Joe Flacco Pittsburgh Steelers

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