A survey from our friends over at Ravens 24×7 asked “If the Ravens could get a No.1 pick and a conditional No.1 for Joe Flacco, would you make that trade?”
Fifteen percent of the respondents said they would make that move, showing that they doubt the abilities of Joe Flacco to lead the Ravens offense. From the sentiments uttered by Ravens fans on local radio programs as well as those coming from some national media members, it’s obvious that Flacco is definitely the
quarterback punching bag on this team.
Hell, considering the relative volume of this vocal minority, 15% seems too low.
Yesterday on ESPN’s First Take, Skip Bayless directed criticisms of Flacco towards Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. Bayless uttered to Suggs, “In your heart of hearts, I don’t think you’re sold on your quarterback” and “The Steelers have Roethlisberger but you’re stuck behind Joe Flacco”.
The consistent success of this franchise has grown to spoil most Ravens fans.
How can any fan complain about a team that is 4-1?
What doubts could you have about a quarterback who has started every game of his career (53) and has the third longest active streak in the NFL? Flacco has been very good during that time as well, reaching the playoffs EVERY year and WINNING playoff games on the ROAD each season.
Joe Flacco isn’t Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers, nor does he have to be. Flacco’s 51.4% completion percentage can be excused as long as Ravens keep trending with the second best scoring differential in the league (+77).
Joe has one of the best supporting casts in the NFL, which allows his team to win. Ray Rice leads the NFL with an average of 140 yards from scrimmage and is throwing his name in the hat for offensive player of the year. The defensive squad is allowing a league low 14.2 points per game.
Flacco’s flaws would be exposed more if the Ravens weren’t so dominant in most other facets of the game.
One perspective, which hasn’t been argued much, is that it may be better for the team to not have Flacco play at an elite status because of how much he’ll command on his pending contract extension.
The Ravens already signed top priority, Haloti Ngata, to a huge contract extension and have Ray Rice’s extension quickly approaching. It’s safe to say owner Steve Bisciotti will have tears in his eyes when he checks his bank account.
The price for any player on the team will increase if they win the Super Bowl and by that point many fans may not mind.
The best thing for the future of this franchise is for Joe Flacco to not be “elite” and just be “really good” and do whatever it takes to just win the game.
If Flacco commands near the same amount that Kevin Kolb did this offseason after a trade to the Cardinals (6-year,$65 mil with $21 guaranteed) the Ravens may be able to swallow that pricetag. If he puts up elite quarterback statistics that fans seem desperate for him to, he may be looking at Drew Brees’ pending contract extension as a basis for his value.
The bottom line is, Joe Flacco is the best quarterback the Ravens have ever seen put on their uniform. Something has to be said for the stability at the position and what it has done the team.
If fans are going to complain about Flacco’s performance on a 4-1 team, they just need to think about how bad this team will be without him. It’s very possible that Flacco will play out his contract and go to the highest bidder elsewhere; a place without spoiled complaining fans and a control freak of an offensive coordinator.
If he did, I can’t say I’d blame him.