I get so tired of hearing, “Joe Flacco can’t carry a team.”
What exactly does that mean?
Now don’t get me wrong, all are great quarterbacks yet each has had some pretty impressive targets to throw to over the years. Has Joe Flacco ever had a Randy Moss or Rob Gronkowski? Ever had a DeMaryius Thomas or Marvin Harrison? Ever had a Jordy Nelson or Donald Driver? Ever had a Marques Colston or Jimmy Graham?
It’s a rhetorical question, but suffice it to say that Flacco hasn’t had nearly the weapons that these quarterbacks have had. Some have had more weapons in one season than Joe has had in his career.
Outside of Tom Brady, how many rings do Messrs. Manning, Rodgers and Brees have? Try one each, just like Flacco.
Since Flacco arrived in 2008 he’s won 10 of 15 playoff games. Messrs. Manning, Rodgers and Brees? They are 15-14. Those very accomplished quarterbacks have had better receivers, better offensive schemes and consistency at offensive coordinator yet when the games count the most their winning percentage is over 22% below that of Flacco.
But those guys carried their teams, right?
Some will argue that Joe has been the beneficiary of better defenses than the other QB’s and that those defenses carried Flacco at times. Ok, I’ll play that game.
Perhaps the quarterback and team to compare Joe to is his AFC North rival signal caller Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has benefitted from a great defense. His overall playoff record is the same as Joe’s (10-5) but since 2008 Ben is just (5-3). And let’s not forget he’s had the talent at wide receiver that Joe keeps looking for on Christmas morning.
Yet fans will still say, “Flacco can’t carry a team.”
How about we dial it back to 2012 when Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were but a shadow of themselves and Lardarius Webb was out. The Ravens had to beat the New York Giants to earn a playoff berth and they did. The following week Flacco sat out a meaningless game in Cincinnati.
The week after he started on a tear through the playoffs ending with the championship and Super Bowl MVP.
During those must-have 5 games, including the win over the Giants, Flacco threw 13 TD’s, ZERO interceptions and posted a passer rating of 116.5.
In the end, we know that football is the ultimate team game and that teams carry teams, not individuals. But if we’re going to play this silly little game about a player carrying a team then Joe’s last 5 games of the 2012 stack up with any quarterback in the game’s history.
That was some heavy lifting.