Parity throughout the NFL is a wonderful thing if you enjoy competition, a fresh product, and your team having a chance to win “on any given Sunday.
Rules and processes that the “shield” has instituted such as the salary cap and a minimum-spending amount have resulted in the NFL turning over half of its playoff teams on a yearly basis.
The fact that the Ravens have been fortunate enough to make the playoffs – and win at least one game – in their last four seasons is impressive, especially since they started the streak with a rookie head coach and quarterback.
With a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Ravens will clinch their fifth-consecutive playoff berth, an accomplishment that Joe Flacco may not fully appreciate given his prior success.
“I probably take it for granted a little bit because it’s what we’re used to around here, and what I’m used to,” Flacco said. “It’s definitely become kind of the norm around here to make the playoffs, especially in the last handful of years.”
Even though Flacco’s current accomplishments in the postseason are impressive, it’s something he said he doesn’t think about too often. He does, however carry with him a sense of accomplishment.
“We definitely look at [the playoff streak] as an accomplishment. At the same time, we haven’t really accomplished what we ultimately want to,” said Flacco, making reference that this team clearly has their sights set on the Super Bowl.
Flacco did his job last season in putting the Ravens in position to appear in the Super Bowl. What happened next was out of his hands -and Lee Evans’ hands as well.
Until Flacco and Ravens reach their ultimate goal, the fifth-year quarterback will continue to have his detractors. The major criticism of Flacco this season is how the Ravens offense is almost unstoppable at home but continues to struggle on the road.
Luckily for Flacco, if his team is able to reach the Super Bowl, it’s played on a neutral field. So would we then see a Flacco that “splits the difference” between his home and road performance tendencies?
That obviously remains to be seen, but it’s something that Joe, his teammates, and Ravens fans everywhere are more than ready to see.