|Joe Flacco, finally in the element he deserves to be in.|
I felt weird even writing that title for this spot. Immortal? Flacco? A few weeks ago, I would have put the word “infamous” in its place. Flacco is not a great quarterback. He’s not Tom Brady. He’s not Peyton Manning.
He already beat those guys. He’s one of the best.
We, as fans of the game watching on our asses from our couches, make quick opinions in our heads about how good or players are. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never watched those players play as long as you hear the stories or if you’ve watched all of their games. We judge based on what we feel and hear. I certainly know that I can’t even make an educated guess when it comes to evaluating players.
And we all felt that Joe Flacco, for the last four and 3/4 years was good, but not great. Yeah, he’s won postseason games like nobody’s business, but did he ever reach the Super Bowl? Nah. When he goes through the regular season, where he’s never been consistently good like the Mannings and Bradys and Ryans of the league, we don’t automatically put him on the pedestal of the best in the league.
|Years of preparation are paying
off for Joe Flacco.
That’s about the change.
Flacco, who is 8-4 in the postseason, and is now riding an eight TD, no INT streak into the Super Bowl, has a shot to make a place for himself in the fraternity of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game. At the end of the game on February 3rd, Joe Flacco could be holding the fabled Lombardi Trophy. He’ll be interviewed for NFL Network’s acclaimed doco series “America’s Game”. He’ll be the new “Discount Double Check” kid of Advertising U.S.A.
Prepare yourselves, ’cause this stuff’s about to go cray.
It’s not Flacco’s having a Cinderella story season. He’s been an above-par quarterback every year since he was drafted in the first round by Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens. He’s won a postseason game in every one of the five years since then. He’s fast, he’s tall, he’s strong, and he has a cannon for an arm (maybe the strongest arm in the NFL in front of Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler). For some reason, I’ve always had the feeling that he’s a great quarterback in the making. But when you’re winning playoff games right off the bat, there’s only so much room to improve. Once you’ve made the playoffs, your next step is the Super Bowl. Forget about winning a playoff game. Win the whole damn thing.
That’s the mantra of all teams with playoff aspirations. The 2000 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens team said that there are plenty of those consistent underachievers who say, “OK, boys. Let’s just make it to the tournament”, or, “Let’s just see what happens.” But the Ravens said, “We’re here, we’ve got the opportunity. Why settle for less?”
|Joe Flacco is seizing the moment.|
And right now, that’s exactly how the 2012 Ravens are operating. This isn’t some lucky, destiny-ridden Super Bowl run. This is an all out assault. And Joe Flacco is at the head of it.
Baltimore preaches team, team, team. But their leaders in the retiring LB Ray Lewis and their younger gun in Flacco are spearheading a force of complete aggression and raw winning emotion that are propelling these written-off division champions into the stratosphere of NFL history.
Now, Flacco is seizing his opportunity to become greater than he could ever imagine. Obviously he didn’t start playing football without the dream of winning a championship. But never under such emotion-driven circumstances. Flacco is ready for the big time. He’s been preparing himself since his days at Delaware, where the NFL doesn’t look.
It’s time for Flacco to achieve something bigger than anything he’s ever achieved in his life.
It’s time for him to be called one of the greatest.
Tune in tomorrow to read about the passing of the torch between the best linebackers in football. Tweet at @aceing82!