Some time this season, when discussing fantasy football on Twitter, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was described to me as ‘meh’. And I thought this was the perfect description. For those unfamiliar with the term, here’s what the ever- reliable urban dictionary has to say:
An interjection used to imply indifference towards a subject; “a verbal shrug”
And that, to me is what Joe Flacco usually is. You can take him or leave him. He can play really good one minute, and then have an awful game the next. He’s not someone that sets the NFL alight, and without being to harsh on the guy, he does a decent enough job.
But fast forward to this year’s playoffs, and Joe Flacco has been anything but average. Right now, he is the definition of a player ‘getting hot’ at exactly the right time. Let’s take a look at his post season statistics so far.
In the Ravens’ three playoff games this year, Flacco has thrown eight touchdown passes. That’s more than any other post season quarterback. Matt Ryan is second on the list with six. The Ravens QB is also yet to throw an interception, which puts him level with Andrew Luck. But remember that Luck has only played one playoff game, compared to Flacco’s three.
He also leads all quarterbacks with 853 passing yards. That’s nearly 200 more than Tom Brady, which is unexpected, even with Brady playing one less game. He has attempted just one less pass than Brady, completing 51 out 93, leaving him with a pretty average 54.8 completion percentage. But it’s worth pointing out again that he has not thrown any interceptions, which is of great importance, especially now we have reached the playoffs. Turnovers can really cripple a team’s chances of winning, and Flacco has been flawless in that department.
Flacco’s playoff passer rating currently sits at 114.7, which is more than the Ravens could have hoped for. He truly is playing well when it matters.
All of this begins to come into perspective when we examine Flacco’s regular season numbers. He was 12th amongst QBs with an 87.7 passer rating, completing 59.7% of his passes, and throwing 22 touchdowns. All this, you have to admit is pretty ‘meh’.
Apart from Denver, Flacco and the Ravens have yet to face a really tough defense. How he performs against the 49ers and their dominant defense remains to be seen. They will be looking to get more pressure on Flacco, perhaps forcing him into mistakes that, so far he hasn’t made.
Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith will have to play well, and so will tight end Dennis Pitta. Running back, Ray Rice will have to continue the good form he has shown this post season, but perhaps most importantly, Joe Flacco has to play one more great game. That’s all he needs to do, and the Super Bowl could be headed back to Baltimore, when all is said and done.