A Tale of Two Champions

Flashback Friday A Tale of Two Champions

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Inspired by the pinheads on social media who insist that 1) Joe Flacco was just another Trent Dilfer and 2) Flacco only won a Super Bowl because of his defense, today’s Flashback Friday takes a look back at Trent Dilfer’s stats from the 2000 season and compares them to Flacco’s numbers from the 2012 campaign in an attempt to show how utterly ridiculous those claims are. I absolutely love Trent, but the Super Bowl run of 2000 was about so much more than his arm. The stats presented here will prove that to be true.

The first chart documents Trent Dilfer’s numbers over the eight regular season games he quarterbacked as well as the four postseason games. The second chart shows his cumulative totals for those regular season games and playoff games.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.19.39 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.19.28 AM

The following two charts do the same for Joe Flacco:

Screenshot 2015-05-29 10.32.20 Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.19.53 AM

*Note: The Joe Flacco chart ignores the final regular season game at Cincinnati, as Flacco only played in part of the 1st Quarter. Instead, Game 7 vs Cleveland is included at the top of the chart.

Just taking the regular season into account, Flacco’s numbers are statistically superior across the board. While the numbers between Flacco and Dilfer are not staggeringly different, two things stand out immediately: the TD-to-interception ratio and the number of passes attempted. The higher number of pass attempts by Flacco indicates that the Ravens relied on Flacco’s arm to carry the offense more than they did Trent’s.

I really want to focus on those playoff numbers. The increase in production by Flacco during the postseason compared to that of Dilfer is staggering. Follow me, people.

  • Flacco (73) had more than twice as many completions as Dilfer (35) during their respective postseasons.
  • Flacco completed the same number of passes (73) that Dilfer ATTEMPTED.
  • Flacco threw for 550 more yards than Dilfer, which is almost as many yards as Dilfer threw for in TOTAL (590).
  • Flacco averaged nearly 80 more yards per postseason game than regular season game, a 40% increase in production. Dilfer averaged 40 fewer yards per postseason game than regular season game, a 21% decrease in production.
  • My favorite stat – Dilfer threw three total touchdowns that postseason in a span of 240 minutes. Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns in less than one half of the Super Bowl, a span of 29 minutes.

During the 2000 run, the Ravens played the #1 seeded Titans in the AFC Divisional round. Dilfer was 5-16 passing in that game. During the 2012 run, the Ravens played the #1 seeded Broncos in the AFC Divisional round. Ask yourself this question: Do you really think the Ravens get through Denver if Flacco goes 5-16 passing in that game?

The Ravens’ offense had almost 500 yards against the Broncos in that game…and still needed two OTs to win 38-35. But yeah, tell me more about how the defense carried Flacco to a Super Bowl. The Ravens had 134 total yards in the Titans win, and won by two touchdowns despite Dilfer averaging one completion per quarter!

You can thank the Ravens’ defense and special teams for that victory. If you want to read more about that game, check out another of my Flashback Fridays here.

Here is another flabbergasting statistic:

The 2000 Ravens scored 15 touchdowns combined in the final six games. Seven of them came from the defense and special teams, and a little more than half came from the offense (53%).

The 2012 Ravens scored 20 touchdowns combined in the final six games. Only two of them came from the defense and special teams compared to 18 from the offense (90%).

To put the Ravens’ 2000 and 2012 postseason defenses into perspective, take a look at this chart:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.20.13 AM

The 2000 team gave up less than six points a game during their postseason run. That’s less than two field goals per game. And they faced the #1 passing offense (Denver) and the #1 rushing offense (Oakland) in two of those games. They surrendered 23 total points in four games, 7 of those on a kick return in the Super Bowl. The 2012 team gave up four times as many total points, twice as many yards, and twice as many first downs.

I did some fact-checking. The 2012 Ravens gave up more points per game (22) than any other Super Bowl-winning team since 1995. Statistically speaking, the 2012 Ravens had the second-worst Super Bowl-winning defense of the past 25 years – the 1995 San Francisco 49ers are the only team since 1990 to have a worse playoff defense than the Ravens and still win the Super Bowl. Again, I implore you: Please tell me more about how the Ravens’ defense carried Joe Flacco to the Super Bowl.

I realize 95% of the people who read this don’t need to be told that Joe Flacco was better than Trent Dilfer. And I’m sure just about all of you have encountered some dipstick (probably a Patriots fan) that has tried to tell you otherwise. Now you have anything and everything you could possibly need to dispute that hot garbage.

Trent Dilfer was no Joe Flacco.

The Ravens don’t win the Super Bowl without January Joe.

But you could make the argument that the Ravens won the Super Bowl in spite of Trent Dilfer.

If I’m wrong, please tell me why. I’d love to hear from you.

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Kenny Miller

About Kenny Miller

Kenny Miller is a meteorologist living in Frederick, MD. He is a Baltimore native and as diehard a Ravens fan as they come. Kenny has a massive collection of Ravens memorabilia and every Ravens game on DVD. He is also a huge fan of professional wrestling, Penn State sports, and the Chicago White Sox. Kenny is a Baltimore native who received his Bachelors Degree from Penn State and his Masters Degree from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Follow Kenny on twitter at @bakerspazing.

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