News and Notes from a Fan’s Perspective
A Tale of Two Joes
The Talk of Flacco as an Elite Quarterback is Useless & Counterproductive
Elite: Noun. (Often used with a plural verb) Persons of the highest class. Only the elite were there. Adjective: The choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons. He’s one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.
Elite can be an objective or subjective term, sometimes defined with data and statistics, other times as what is simply in the Eye of the Beholder.
What can you say about a quarterback that was nearly flawless in the first half of the Eagles game, a performance worthy enough to back up his 128+ quarterback rating earned in the game against the Bengals? He was efficient and cool in the face of a fierce pass rush.
What can you say about the same quarterback whose rating was a miniscule 1.7 in the third quarter, a passer who couldn’t seem to hit the side of a barn?
It was the same quarterback. Joe Cool. Joe Flacco. The same quarterback the media was praising after the Bengals game. The same quarterback who is now dismissed after the Eagles game.
Should Flacco, as Tony Lombardi teased us earlier this week via a Russell Street Report Tweet, now scale back his contract demands, demands that were reportedly elevated based on the Bengals game? Is the “summer discount” back in play?
To be fair, you can’t hang all of this on the Joe. He was playing a team picked by many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, in their home opener, against a defense that was ranked in the top 15 last season. But he didn’t look like the same quarterback in the second half. He looked tentative, overthrew receivers, threw into double coverage, threw too many passes period, and failed to effectively utilize his main asset – Ray Rice.
There’s another Raven whose first name is 3 letters and who is responsible for the play calling – yes, my favorite stick pin doll –Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. His play calling went away in the second half. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen so many 3 and outs. No running plays, no screens, no misdirections, no plays to slow the pass rush down. I’ll beat this drum until the cows come home.
What about our defense, the feared Ravens Defense, that gave up nearly 500 yards in offense to an option quarterback who turned the ball over 3 times?
Don’t get me started with the replacement refs. I could write volumes about their Kardashian deficiencies. Yes, the game was abominably long and atrociously officiated. Yes, the pass interference call against Jacoby Jones was all wrong, and Michael Vick should have been whistled for intentional grounding instead of a fumble which, when reviewed, was bumbled into an incomplete pass. But those calls didn’t cost the Ravens the game.
Joe Flacco is derided when he voices self confidence in his abilities, but was he really any worse this past week than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Jay Cutler, all of whom are considered elite or nearly so? I don’t think so. In fact, Joe can take the measure of one of these elites this coming Sunday night
The elite talk is useless and counterproductive. If we fans want to over-analyze something, let’s evaluate our defense, which is now ranked 27th in the NFL. For me, Flacco is good enough to be the Ravens quarterback for now and the foreseeable future. He’ll soon get his contract and eventually he’ll get his elite status in the eyes of the media.
It will happen one February evening when Joe Flacco holds the Lombardi trophy.
Note: All stats courtesy of NFL.com and the Baltimoresun.com.