When it comes to upsets in the NFL, many fans speculate, “It was just a fluke.” Sure, sometimes things happen due to pure luck, but a lot of times there are reasons to the underdog’s success. It’s the critical thing called… statistics.
Saturday’s game against the Broncos is the perfect example for the seven-point underdog Ravens. Unless you live in Charm City, you probably aren’t giving the Ravens a chance. Why? The things that most analysts study are swirling in Denver’s favor. For example, it’s Peyton Manning against Joe Flacco. How can Flacco even inch close to Manning’s success?
It’s simple. Flacco is on pace to do just as good as Manning.
What did I just say? It’s possible that Joe Flacco can be the winner in this matchup?? Yeah, and it’s proven and on paper.
Seeing the extended forecast for Saturday’s divisional round is pretty eye-popping. The high temperature on Sunday is 19 degrees with a 30% chance of snow. It’s officially anyone’s game.
With that forecast, Flacco should be smiling pretty big. Peyton Manning might have beaten Flacco in the regular season, but this time the playing field has evened. Manning has been very average in his 18 games in January. He isn’t the playoff mastermind that many think.
Even though he is considered one of the best play-callers to ever play the game, when it comes to January, he is very run-of-the-mill.
Get this: In Peyton’s 18 games in January, he has a passer rating of 88.3 – by far his WORST of any month. His record is 8-9 in the playoffs and has gone one-and-done seven times. Not very “Manning-like” is it?
Flacco has a passer rating of only about 81, but that isn’t the whole story. Manning’s numbers are decent in the playoffs, but he doesn’t play the way that “Manning-mania” makes him out to. He is just a bit better than Flacco in the big games and when you get down to crunch time, he hardly has any advantage.
“He is at home,” Denver fans will reply to these surprising stats. Yes, he is at home. Congratulations, but Joe Flacco doesn’t care. Tom Brady was also at home in the AFCC game last year, and Flacco out-performed him.
I’m not trying to take anything away from #18. We all know that he is one of the best to ever play the game and nothing will take away from that. But when you look at Peyton’s performance in the cold weather, you have to be surprised. He lacks the ability to take his team far when it counts. This will be Joe Flacco’s 11th playoff game, only six behind Manning. He has done this in just five years. This is where Joe has the advantage. Flacco has had five years where he led his team to multiple playoff games. Peyton Manning? Four years.
Saturday’s game might feature a hall-of-fame QB, but can he knock off Flacco who has almost done more in five years, than Manning has in 13? Only time will tell.