Originally Posted by SkinsandTerps
Hoofbite, Flacco does not have to carry his team usually. They have a decent defense when healthy, they have a solid rush attack. They don't commit a ton of penalties, they don't turn the ball over in the high range.
That's exactly my point and is basically the definition of a "Bus Driver" QB.
Prior to this postseason that's what he was.
The guy can handle the stage and performs when he has to.
It's not always about the numbers unless we are talking turnovers. He protects the ball. Making good decisions with it. Sometimes it is better to throw it away than force it.
He handled the stage this year and stepped up for sure. I'm not trying to downplay his performance. It was outstanding but I don't think a single good postseason puts someone in the Top 5. It surely doesn't put anyone as "The Best" as Merril says.
Flacco's playoff record prior to this year was 5-4 which is commendable.
In those 5 wins is a pretty ridiculous stat. Opposing offenses only combined for 53 total points. That's less than 11 points per game.
I kid you not, and because I didn't believe it myself I had to look it up to see if he got hurt, but he has won a playoff game with 4 completions for 34 yards and a QB Rating of 10.0
I honestly don't know how I can't remember that. It was in 2009 so it's likely I was too focused on Dallas at the time after they clobbered the Eagles for it to really sink in.
Flacco's stats in those 5 wins:
- 63/116 (54.3%), 771 Yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
And if holding the opponents to less than 11 points isn't enough on behalf of the Ravens' defense, they've literally had like 4 takeaways in each of those games and excellent rushing numbers for 3 of those games as well.
- Tennessee: 3 Takeawas, 50 Rushing Yards
- Houston: 4 Takeaways, 87 Rushing Yards
- Miami: 5 Takeaways, 151 Rushing Yards
- Kansas City: 5 Takeaways, 142 Rushing Yards
- New England: 4 Takeaways, 242 Rushing Yards
I'm quite certain there's isn't a QB in the NFL who couldn't win with that.
Just a quick look at his 4 losses prior to this postseason:
Pittsburgh, Lost 14-23: 13/30 (43.3%), 141 Yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
Indianapolis, Lost 3-20: 20/35 (57.1%), 189 Yaards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Pittsburgh, Lost 24-31: 16/30 (53.3%) 125 Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
New England, Lost 20-23: 22/36 (61.1%) 306 Yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
1 game of good play. Last year's playoff game against NE. People like to say that Lee Evans was the reason the Ravens weren't in the Superbowl (and I agree) in trying to make a case for Flacco but on the flip-side, if Raheem Moore doesn't start celebrating a victory before the game is over, Flacco's season ends in Denver this year. It goes both ways.
Taking the lot of those 9 games, Flacco was pretty inconsequential in victory and largely responsible for losses (NE excluded). Basically, "we don't need you to win the game for us, we just need you to make sure that you don't lose it".
That's how Flacco was able to be 3-1 through his first 4 postseason games while completing 43.5% of his passes, throwing for a combined 471 Yards with 1 TD and 4 INTs.
Little different than how the Bears approached Rex Grossman. Only difference, Rex didn't get red hot and have a postseason for the history books, and thus, become a Top 5 QB after having won the Superbowl. I'm not saying Flacco isn't better than Rex, he certainly is. I'm just pointing out how ridiculous it is to look at two guys who were basically inconsequential to their teams success and largely responsible for their teams failures and then conclude that one guy is Top 5 because of a single stretch of games, no matter how good they were.
He stepped up this year and this year only. Was Mark Sanchez Top 5 after getting to the AFC Championship game 2 years in a row? He stepped up didn't he? Or does stepping up only occur when you win the Superbowl. Basically, only 1 guy steps up per year? That's a little disingenuous and kind of ignores the reality of just how hard it is to win a Superbowl.
I would not take either of the Matt's, or Ben over him.
The Matt's can't do it, and Ben has not done it without a running game.
I'd take Ryan but not Schaub and that's only because of Flacco's playoff run this year. Without that run, those two are similar guys and if you can keep Schaub upright, he's the better QB.
Matt Ryan is just flat out better.
As for Ben, you're claim on him doesn't do you any favors. The Raven's just ran for 134 yards per game during their playoff run. That's better than the average for either of the Steeler's playoff runs in which they won the Superbowl. In 2008 the Steelers only had 3 playoff games but rushed for less than 60 in two of them. In 2005 their playoff stretch came up just short of the 2012 Ravens' playoff stretch.
If performance with the complement of a running game drops a guy in your opinion, Flacco in the Top 5 is kind of an oddity considering Flacco has had the benefit of a good running game for nearly his entire career. Every year he has played, he has had the complement of a higher rushing total and YPC average than the 2008 Steelers did when they won the Superbowl.
I think overall we agree. I just don't see the Matt's as more than stat stuffers, or Ben as more than fortunate.
I would disagree with your assessment of Ryan. I think Ryan is a very good QB and if you put him and Flacco on teams that are dead even across the board in every other aspect Ryan would outperform him significantly. I'm not even a big fan of Schaub because I don't think he's all that great. I simply threw him into the discussion because his numbers are very comparable to Flacco's over the years.
Which kind of brings the idea of padding stats to an interesting crossroads. If Flacco and Schaub are producing on the same level, and I'm talking very similar, yet one guy is winning more than the other, why is that guy winning more? After that, why is one guy a stat padder and the other isn't? Would Flacco have been a stat padder prior to the start of this year's postseason? Must have been one which means he's no longer a stat padder because his team came together at the right time, he got hot and started seeing things in binary code and it all worked out for him. People wouldn't even consider him close to the best, and I dare say, wouldn't consider him in the Top 5 if they had lost that Superbowl. Considering the difference in the game could be something like the uncalled Personal Foul on Crabtree that would have given the 49ers a fresh set of downs at the 4, I think catapulting a guy for something like good fortune is mislead.
This isn't to take anything away from his performance. It likely won't be replicated by he or anyone else in the near future. Simply flawless.
But, the idea that he is now some sort of top QB in the league is just ridiculous to me. Perhaps I have a problem with the narrow scope of the media in that they're so anxious to crown the next guy at the first sign of success. A guy who through 5 years would probably come in about average in all the major statistics but does protect the ball well is somehow better than 10 or so guys that rank in front of him in spite of those players doing nearly everything else better and not being able to rely on what amounts to a Top 3 defense every single year? I don't buy it.
All it means is that the guy was in the zone for a brief period and it just happened to be at the right time. Far and away, 3 of his 4 best games of the year came in the playoffs. Flacco deserves praise for his stretch but until he starts making those monster games more frequently, he's got a lot of legwork to do in order to be at the top.