Taking a break from conditioning, Ray Rice called into
Atlanta radio station 790 The Zone and the topic of how much attention he was
given during last year’s playoffs came up.
Rice deflected some of the credit he was receiving and gave
it to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
“It was his show. It was his show on offense and as much
credit that I was getting and as much respect I was getting from defenses, all
Joe really had to do is prove that we can drive the ball down the field and
score, and he did that,” Rice said to Mayhem in the AM.
Rice followed up with a statement that no doubt will have
people talking during one of the slowest news times in the NFL.
“Quite frankly, he outplayed Tom Brady the last game.”
Let’s take a look at the stats from that heartbreaking
evening in Foxboro and see if that statement is true.
Flacco: 22-36 for 306 yards, 2 TD (should have been 3, see Evans,
Lee) 1 INT
Brady: 22-36 for 239 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Comparing the two quarterbacks, Flacco’s statistics were
better than Brady’s, but it wasn’t indicative of the result on the field. The
only stat that matters is the final score and in this case, the quarterback with
the better stats ended up watching the Super Bowl from his couch.
Were Flacco and Brady ever on the field at the same time
while a clock was running?
Besides pre-game warm-ups and the post-game handshake,
Flacco and Brady were never on the field facing each other at any significant
part of the game.
Did Flacco outplay Brady?
It doesn’t really matter.
The statement should have been, “Flacco had a better game
versus his opposing defense than Brady did,” but the fact is that the two never
battled each other one – on – one.
The who outplayed whom conversation often gets thrown around
when it comes to quarterbacks. However, being in Baltimore and always defending
my team’s quarterback has elevated my level of caution when discussing Flacco.
The real question(s) for who outplayed whom in the AFC Championship
game should have been “Did Sterling Moore outplay Lee Evans,” or “Did the goal
post outplay Billy Cundiff?”
Flacco has confidence in his game and that’s all anyone who
is a fan of the Ravens can ask for out of their quarterback. Unfortunately for
Flacco, his confidence has created more scrutiny of his play.
The silver lining when it comes to Baltimore’s self-appointed
(former) mustachioed, gun slinging quarterback is that he did indeed play well
enough to win his team that particular game.
As for the rest of the games throughout his career, Flacco
has more often than not done enough to win his team games. He deserves a contract extension so the team
may continue their winning ways.
The only other legitimate alternative under center is Tyrod
Taylor, but no matter how many times people have, and will continue to utter
his name on sports radio this season, you don’t want him in the game for
anything more than a “Wildcat” type play.
This is no knock on Taylor but he is no Joe Flacco. Having had the opportunity to see him in
practice while Flacco was out of OTA’s due to the birth of his first child, I’d say
that Taylor doesn’t look half as good as Joe.
Let’s appreciate the success the Ravens have had as a team
and give a lot of that credit to the play of Flacco. Without his efforts, the
team wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as they have over the past
four seasons. You would probably be less
interested in reading this and other articles about your team had they missed
the postseason say, three of the last four years.
Luckily for Ravens fans, during Flacco’s time in the NFL we
have never had to feel what it’s like to cheer for a mediocre team. On most
Sundays since 2008, the Ravens have outplayed their opponents – the only
“outplaying” that really matters – and Joe Flacco has done his share to earn
those victories with his teammates.