fun gus wrote:
but that only works if it's a small sample. I would never believe Tebow is a better QB then Ryan because he won ONE playoff game. However, if he won 4 and Ryan had 3 one and outs, then I would say HELLS YES...Sorry, I aint buying this steaming pile. PS wins must be factored in to any real comparison. Otherwise it's the same silly argument like "who would win in a fight, Tyson or Bruce Lee'?
I still think you're falling into the trap fun gus of using postseason success or lack thereof as the sole, overriding argument in comparing QBs.
If you believe Flacco > Ryan, then you're welcome to that opinion. There are plenty of people out that agree with you. But if you're basing that opinion entirely off his (or rather the Ravens) postseason success vs. the Falcons, then IMO you're being extremely short-sighted. Flacco has played in 9 playoff games, Ryan 3. Flacco has started 64 regular season games (up til this year) and Ryan 62. So for every postseason appearance either has made, they've played in a combined 11.5 regular season games.
I don't think this article proves one thing or the other. But I think when you see those graphics that indicate that Flacco has the most wins over the past 4 years of any starting QB, and then you'll hear someone like Phil Simms say, "That makes him an elite QB" you have to sort of shrug and say, "No it doesn't."
I learned a long time ago, that wins are tenuous at best way to measure QBs. They should of course be factored into things as you have to win in order to have success in this league. But too often people will look at that W-L as the sole indicator of a QB's quality.
If you're going to compare Flacco and Ryan, based off who is the better QB, then you need to compare things like arm strength, pocket mobility, accuracy, decision-making, clutch performance, etc. i.e. all the things that are involved in playing the quarterback position. You can win or lose a game because a returner takes a kick to the house at the beginning of the 4th quarter. That has nothing to do with who is the better QB. And the other problem is that people often equate clutch performance to playoff wins, which isn't really fair.
Actually look at Flacco's postseason games...
In 2008, vs. Miami in the opening round, Baltimore went on the road and beat Miami 27-9. IN that game, Flacco completed 9 of 23 passes (39%) for 135 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. He had a 59 rating. Flacco did however run for a TD in that game in the 4th quarter. In that game, Baltimore rushed for 151 yards, 2 TDs, and forced 5 Miami turnovers, including a pick six (Ed Reed). Based off that, Flacco should probably get the minimum possible credit for helping Baltimore win that game.
The next week, they played Tennessee on the road. Flacco was better, 11 for 22 (50%), 161 yards, 1 TD, 89 passer rating. Baltimore won 13-10. While the Ravens only ran for 50 yards in that game, their defense did create 3 turnovers, and it basically became a kicking duel for the last 3 quarters because after the 1st quarter, no one scored TDs.
Then you look at their loss vs. Pittsburgh the following week: 23-14. Flacco completed 13 of 30 (43%), for 141 yards, and 3 INTs, a rating of 18. One of those INTs happened to be a pick six to Polamalu at the end of the game with the Ravens trying to drive to get the win.
If you're judging solely from their compared postseason performances, there is NOTHING to suggest that Flacco in the '08 playoffs was better than Ryan in the '08 playoffs despite Baltimore winning 2 games.
Then look at the following year...
They beat NE on the road 33-14 in the 2nd round. Flacco completes 4 of 10 passes (40%) for 34 yards, and an INT. His passer rating is 10. How did they win? They ran the ball for 234 yards, 4 TDs, held the top Patriots offense to 196 total yards and forced 4 turnovers.
The next week they go to Indy and lose 20-3. Flacco played better, went 20 of 35 (57%) for 189 yards, and 2 INTs. Both those INTs came in the 4th quarter when they were already down by 3 scores and he was pressing. It's not like the defense played poorly, holding Manning & the Colts to 20 points. The offense couldn't get anything going.
Would those 2 performances > Ryan's game against the Packers? Probably not.
Now in 2010, we finally start to see Flacco play well in January. They beat the Chiefs 30-7. Flacco completes 25 of 34 (74%) for 265 yards & 2 TDs. His only turnover was a sack-strip by Tamba Hali. But we also have to remember that the Ravens D was outstanding in that game, forcing 5 Chiefs turnovers and holding KC's offense to 161 total yards. Not taking anything away from Flacco, but once again he could've probably played like shyte and they would have still won that game with that sort of defensive effort.
Then we get to the Steeler game, which the Ravens lose 31-24...
The Ravens build a good early lead, going into halftime up 21-7. Flacco played well in the first half, completing 12 of 18 passes for 82 yards and a TD. One of Baltimore's TD was a scoop and score on a fumble recovery by Cory Redding. Another one came thanks to Mendenhall fumbling deep in Steeler territory (at their own 16), and then Flacco eventually throwing for the D. And Shaun Suisham also missed a 43-yard FG as well for the Steelers. So on one hand, Flacco played well doing what you expect, but the Steelers also hurt themselves.
And then in the 2nd half, it was completely flipped on its head. Flacco went 4 of 12 for 43 yards and 1 INT, he also fumbled once as well and was sacked 4 times. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they had a punt return TD in the 4th quarter nullfied by a holding call. Now they wound up turning that into 3 points on a FG to tie the game 24-24 with 4 minutes left. But then on the ensuing drive, we have the famous Big Ben bomb to Antonio Brown for 58 yards on 3rd & 19 that put the ball at the Ravens 4 yard line. The Steelers wind up scoring to take the 31-14 lead. Flacco gets 1 more chance, winds up being sacked on 3rd down, and basically the game is over.
Certainly, you would not argue that Flacco was clutch. Across the field you had a patented clutch performance from Mr. Roethlisberger that he has become known for throughout his career, not from Flacco.
Then we come to last year's games. First up against TJ Yates and Houston in Round 2. Flacco had nice numbers in that game (14-27-176-2-0), but my recollection of that game was that Flacco's performance from the eyeball test was decidedly average. Baltimore forcing 3 TJ Yates INTs I think had a lot to do with it. By building an early lead, they basically forced Houston to throw more than they would have wanted with a rookie QB.
Now the following week vs. NE, I think we can all agree Flacco played well in that game (22-36-306-2-1), and if not for Lee Evans dropping that pass, the Ravens should have gone to the Super Bowl.
The point that's now taken me 27 minutes to get to, is that in 9 playoff games, you have really only 2 strong performances from Flacco. His best performance came in a loss. And in NONE Of the 5 wins, would you really argue that he was the impetus behind them winning the game.
So by judging a player based solely off whether his team wins or loses (whether regular season or postseason), you're not really examining that player's individual performance, you're just looking at the result of a game and making an assumption.
So the idea that Flacco > Ryan because of his postseason record is probably the worst possible argument you could possibly suggest. And I think the author of this "drivel" Bill Barnwell understands this fact perfectly, because he knows that Flacco doesn't have to work as hard to win games in Baltimore as other good QBs around the league have. Which is I think the entire reason why he invented this junk stat to illustrate that point.
And again for the record, I think Flacco is probably underrated by and large. I don't think he's better than Matt RYan, but the gap is minimal. I certainly wouldn't have made the case prior to last year's NE game that he was better. ANd of course now that you have Flacco probably playing his best football ever, you also have Matt Ryan playing at an MVP level, so again, I can't really find any reason to push Flacco over Ryan at this point.
It's interesting to me because I compared Flacco to Big Ben and Eli. Roethlisberger for years had to fight the perception that he won because of his defense and the running game. Up until a few years ago, there weren't a lot of people that put Roethlisberger in their To 5 QBs because of that belief, which was for the most part true. It really wasn't until he got that 2nd ring thanks to that clutch drive vs. Arizona before people really started to say, "Hey this guy is better than we give him credit for."
And the same for Eli after he won his 2nd Super Bowl. In 2010, people were ripping him because he threw 25 INTs, never mind the fact that like 11 of them came on dropped passes. On this very board, we had a debate about that, with myself suggesting that if his name was not Manning, he would much more greatly appreciated. And then a year later, Eli plays well and the Giants win their 2nd Super Bowl, and now people are mentioning him in the same breath as his brother, BRady, and Brees.
The reality IMO is that previously Eli was much underrated, and now he's overrated because of his team success. I think the same applies to Flacco. There are people out there that overrate him because of his team's success, but a lot of people that underrate him because their belief that his team's success is largely due to Ray Lewis and Ray Rice. The truth is that it's somewhere in the middle.
But I do agree with the premise that if you were to take an average NFL starter (let's say Matt Hasselbeck or Carson Palmer of recent history) and put them with that same supporting cast that Flacco has in Baltimore over the past 4 years, Flacco might come out better, but only by a marginal degree. Does that mena Flacco isn't a good QB? No. But I do think it means that he isn't a great QB because he doesn't have to carry his team as much as say Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brees, or Matt Ryan have had to carry theirs over the same span.