No offense intended to ESPN, but they’re not the only ones in the media who fail to grasp the true value of having a franchise QB like Joe Flacco.
As Sarah Ellison observed in her July 3rd “Late For Work” column at BaltimoreRavens.com, ESPN’s Mike Sando polled 26 anonymous insiders – eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches and a top executive – asking them to grade each projected starting quarterback. They graded the QBs on a 1-5 scale (from best to worst), and Flacco landed at No. 12 in the second tier of quarterbacks.
Flacco is first tier in my book, because if you had to turn to one guy to make a big play in the final minute with a big game on the line, Joe would be the guy. His situational greatness is rarely if ever accounted for in these so-called “insider” polls. They look at game tape but they don’t look at all the tape. They don’t account for “big plays” that win games, like that dart Joe threw to Marlon Brown at the back of the end zone to win the “Snow Bowl” last season.
I’ve seen all the quarterbacks in the poll, and I’ve seen Flacco’s every snap with the Ravens since 2008, and Flacco is the best of all of them when under situational pressure to make a big play for the win.
Granted, there are times when Flacco gets off track, but mostly that is a consequence of not always having elite receivers or the strongest of offensive line pass pro or the dominant running game.
Still, Flacco makes adjustments, and if the game comes down to the end and your guys need a winning drive, Flacco is the QB with the best percentage chance of delivering.
Sarah Ellison did make a nice chart of the voting results for the ESPN Insiders poll, and I’ll try to reproduce it here:
Hard to believe that Flacco actually got ten (10) 3rd Tier votes… really ignorant voting in my opinion.
No need to ruin your July 4th celebration with my bellyaching about the disrespect Flacco continues to get around the league and from the media. I will leave you with two words— “situational greatness”. It’s a concept that the British failed to account for too when they judged the American Revolution as a “3rd Tier” event which could easily be dispatched.