Flacco is “Franchise” Despite Lack of “Elite” Stats


Fans these days are always obsessed with stats. They want the quarterback for their favorite team to put up gaudy numbers to make themselves believe they have a franchise, or, to use the word-of-the-moment, “elite” quarterback. Well, putting up gaudy numbers has never been Joe Flacco’s style, nor the style of the Baltimore Ravens. Of course, there’s not anything wrong with that – just look at the win totals and Lombardi Trophy – but a lot people use that as a guide to say he is no good.

Flacco’s numbers in Sunday’s game  in Miami are a perfect example. He went 19/32 for 269 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Those numbers by Flacco won’t be good enough for a lot of people. But those who feel that way are the people who didn’t watch the whole game, have him on their fantasy team, or are just plain haters.

When you look at the way the Ravens won the game against the Dolphins, isn’t there something to be said about putting your team in the best position to win? The interception was on Bryant McKinnie as much as it was Flacco. No touchdowns? Well, unlike a lot of teams nowadays, the Ravens actually run the ball near the goalline – as a result, Ray Rice had two scores, while Joe didn’t “get” any.

Does it make Flacco a lesser quarterback since he decided to go with a run play in that situation instead of padding his stats by throwing the ball? That’s what it really comes down to. Common sense needs to be added to the equation.

The way Flacco and the Ravens won that game is pretty much the way it’s gone for his entire NFL career.

But at the same time, some people will stick to their negative perception of Flacco, holding his five interceptions against the Buffalo Bills over his head for as long as they can. The critics love to run their mouths when Flacco doesn’t do well, but are all of the sudden quiet when he performs well or ignore his accomplishments (most notably being a Super Bowl MVP.)

A lot of people on the outside looking in really need to understand that putting up big numbers doesn’t make you elite as a signal caller .If that is the case, Tony Romo should be elite right? It’s all about winning, and putting your team in the best position to win. I hate to break to some folks, but Flacco having 65 wins as a starter for the Ravens since 2008 (which is the most in the NFL) isn’t a fluke.

I mean, Vinny Testaverde threw 33 touchdown passes to go along with 4,177 yards as he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the Ravens in 1996. The team went 4-12. Was Testaverde a franchise quarterback at the time? No. But I’m convinced some people in the NFL world would rather have that than actually seeing their team win.

You really want to know how to tell if you have a franchise quarterback? All you have to do is ask this question: Is there a reasonable expectation that my signal caller can lead my team on the road in any environment in the NFL?

Can he win in New England?





San Francisco?

Green Bay?

Yes, Flacco has shown he can do that. He’s won in four of those cities, and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t do so in the others. Flacco is the only Super Bowl-winning quarterback to go on the road and beat future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the process.

How’s that for gaudy numbers?

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About Wola Odeniran

Wola Odeniran
Born in Silver Spring, Wola Odeniran remains a Maryland resident. He is currently a student at UMUC with a major in graphics communication, the ultimate goal being a career in journalism. Wola is a lifelong Ravens, Orioles and Terps fan…all the way!...more

5 Raves on “Flacco is “Franchise” Despite Lack of “Elite” Stats

  1. Jimmy Dundalk on said:

    Great article Wola,,,,,,,,,,,,I needed this to combat some of my friends and their view of Joe,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I’m so glad he is here in Baltimore,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,He is a lot tougher than he looks and very few people give him credit for that , plus all he does is WIN ,,,,,,,,

  2. mrm0n5t3r on said:

    @Wola… plz don’t be salty w/ what I’m about to retort with..

    I fully disagree with MANY things u stated in ur blog, which reads from a FANBOYISH perspective, & not that of a knowledgable, honest & objective fan of the game

    I will agree that fantasy football aficionados r OCD over stats.. BUT!! the TRULY ELITE QB, put up #’s as a by product of LEADING their team on the field of battle, sometimes carrying the team, & also know WHEN to simply “manage” the game..

    it’s humorous when people mention stats are overblown, & then r quick to point out how many wins FLACCO has, not THE TEAM..

    & any real & honest fan of the ravens KNOWS there were loooong stretches where then ravens kicker Matt stover was putting on a kicking clinic, becuz that’s ALL they were scoring for IMMENSELY LARGE chunks of sequential seasons since ’08..

    NOT TO MENTION.. this as a comparison for elite play.. unrealistic ppl consider flacco elite.. we all KNOW Peyton is elite.. hypothetically speaking.. trade Peyton & flacco in 2008 (or ’09).. if Peyton was the beneficiary of those great ravens defenses for those years, versus the horrid d the colts had for years, there’s prolly be NO debate about Peyton being the BEST EVER, with prolly several rings to show for it, & put flacco on that colts team with Marvin Harrison & Reggie Wayne & co. & WOULD U HONESTLY say flacco is ELITE throwing for 250 yds/g with those WEAPONS?? hell no, hell no.. HELL NO!!

    “(19/32 for 269 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) numbers by Flacco won’t be good enough for a lot of people. But those who feel that way are the people who didn’t watch the whole game, have him on their fantasy team, or are just plain haters.”

    this entire paragraph is plain BULLSHIT.. those #’s are an excusable bad game for elite players from time to time.. however, these #’s are CONSISTENT for joe FLACCID’s career, & are HARDLY the stuff of legends when the games matter..

    to say that a person like ME who is critical of the team as well as joe’s lackluster performances week after week, season after season, are haters, fantasy football BUTT hurt, or not watching the whole game is absurd!!!

    I live in the DMV area, so I’m always able to watch the games..

    the joe “elite” that REAL fans have been promised are expecting the joe flacco who was spreading the field & completing the deep ball to Torrey smith.. NOT the joe bullshit guiding the offense to habitual 3 & outs the entire 1st half..

    in ELITE PLAY we, the ravens fans, EXPECT a vertical passing attack, not the dink & dunk garbage of subpar offenses STRUGGLING for identity..

    & if the EXCUSE is they’re STILL trying to establish an offensive identity, then joe flacco doesn’t know who he is, & he isn’t “the man.”


  3. Kim Andrews on said:

    Another great article Wola! The beautiful thing about Joe is that he is the consummate team player. He is not concerned with personal glory, IMO, and I think that he has the respect of the locker room because of that. He doesn’t care if he passes for 150 yds or 500 yds, all that matters is the ‘W’. I was really heartened when I read that even with a brand new baby at home, he was spending his own time after the regular practices to work one-on-one with Clark and Dickson. His commitment to the team is indisputable. He is a champion on and off the field!

    • WolaOdeniran on said:

      I certainly agree with the respect aspect if the he earned it from Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed in the past it is very telling. One aspect about the Ravens has always been the fact that players have never been afraid to speak their minds. So for key players on this team backing Flacco the way they are says a lot. The defense certainly didn’t have that kind of respect with Boller.

      Thanks for reading Kim!

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