Peyton Manning is widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.
So is Joe Flacco.
Okay, maybe not.
Too many people buy into the national media’s shtick on Flacco for whatever reason. Their loss.
However, he is unquestionably the greatest quarterback in the history of the Baltimore Ravens. One thing that the Flacco haters cannot deny is his postseason success. How does January Joe stack up against one of the best ever? The results may be closer than you think.
For starters, let’s compare overall wins and losses. Peyton has played in 23 career playoff games with an 11-12 record. Joe has played in 15 playoff games with a record of 10-5.
Flacco would have to go 1-7 in his next 8 playoff games to match Peyton Manning’s record. No way, José.
The following chart compares overall playoff statistics between the 2 QBs:
It should come as no surprise that Manning leads in every statistical category in gross numbers, but these numbers are skewed because Peyton has played in eight more playoff games.
If we look at overall averages between the two QBs, the numbers represent a more accurate comparison:
Hmm…a little closer, aren’t they? Flacco’s pedestrian passing numbers might suggest he is more of a game manager than playoff immortal, but he has actually (and perhaps surprisingly) thrown slightly more TDs per playoff game than Mr. Manning. His INT ratio is a lot lower as well.
If we compare the same statistical categories but only look at their numbers since the start of the 2010 playoffs:
Flacco’s stats are quite comparable if not better than Manning’s. Sure, Peyton throws for an average of ~20 yards more a game, but look at those TD and INT ratios and the slight difference in passer rating
This final comparison looks at Manning’s Super Bowl run (his only one, by the way) during the 2007 postseason and Flacco’s Super Bowl run during the 2013 postseason:
Joe Flacco was unstoppable during the 2013 postseason. Based on these stats, one might argue the Colts won Super Bowl 41 in spite of Peyton Manning. So Flacco was unquestionably more valuable to his team during the Ravens’ championship run than Peyton Manning was to the Colts.
Another interesting stat is that Peyton Manning is currently 2nd all-time when it comes to most consecutive playoff games with an 80+ passer rating with 9. That streak came to an end in last year’s Super Bowl.
Flacco is currently tied for 3rd in that list with 8 consecutive playoff games with a QBR of 80+, but Flacco’s streak is still going.
Not bad, eh?
Two more of those bad boys and he will tie Joe Montana for first.
Just for comparison’s sake, Tom Brady’s longest streak is 5.
This rudimentary study was not done to suggest that Joe Flacco is a better QB than Manning, but they do suggest that he is much better during the biggest moments.
I’ll take January Joe any day of the week.
And twice on Sunday.