Joe Flacco announced that he thinks of himself as the best quarterback in the NFL. Not Aaron Rodgers, not Drew Brees, not Tom Brady. Flacco, with his unimpressive numbers and disappointing performances in the postseason most of the time, isn’t short on confidence.
There’s nothing wrong with believing you’re the best or one of the best. Every professional player should feel that way about himself, but there’s no need to get delusional. There’s no need to actually ask for more heat from fans and critics by saying these things out loud. There’s one thing about being confident, but that confidence has to be back up in some way.
I assume everybody thinks they’re a top-five quarterback. I mean, I think I’m the best. I don’t think I’m top five, I think I’m the best. I don’t think I’d be very successful at my job if I didn’t feel that way. I mean, c’mon? That’s not really too tough of a question. That doesn’t mean that things are going to work out that way. It just means that’s the way it is – that’s the way I feel that it is and that’s the way I feel it should be.
Joe Flacco was 12th last season in passing yards, 3610. He’s been rather consistent during the last three seasons in that category, with 3622 being his best, 3610 his lowest. In yards per game, Flacco averaged 225.6, 19th in the NFL. How about touchdowns? Flacco threw 20 touchdown passes, 3.7% for his throws. He was 13th in the league in that category.
He did throw 12 interceptions as well, 2.2% of his passes. That seems to be one of the few categories that places him in a good spot, ninth in the league. However, he did fumble the ball 11 times, turning the ball over seven of those fumbles.
So who would you rather have? Drew Brees, obviously. Forget about his career, just look at 2011. It’s a pass happy offense, but Brees makes it work – 5476 yards with 46 touchdowns while completing 71.2% of his passes. Flacco, with 57.6% completion rating was 25th in the NFL.
Brees’ QB rating was 110.6, second best in the NFL behind Aaron Rodgers. Flacco finished with 80.9, his lowest since his rookie season, good enough for 18th in the NFL.
Well, who else? Aaron Rodgers obviously, who had something close to a perfect season with Packers, before going down against the Giants in the postseason. 15-1 record, with a 122.5 QB rating and leading the NFL with 9.2 yards per attempt. He’s also got a Super Bowl ring. Flacco has a 5-4 career postseason record, but he’s also rarely dominant in those games. He did give a very good performance against the Patriots, but bad kicking and bad coaching had more to do with that loss.
Tom Brady? Without a doubt. Brady led the Patriots to his fifth Super Bowl, throwing for 5235 yards and 39 touchdowns, intercepted only 12 times, 2% of his passing attempts. In 2010 he was intercepted only 4 times, an incredible 0.8%. Maybe it’s harder to pick off passes that go to the slot and Wes Welker all the time.
Who else? Tony Romo? Yes. Despite Romo’s problems in the fourth quarter, I would like to think that last season was a lot of front line problems than just Romo. There are things to fix for the Cowboys’ QB, but he’s isn’t the problem, or the main problem for another season out of the playoffs.
Matt Schaub? If he’s healthy, definitely. Eli Manning? Without a doubt. He had a great year, and those two Super Bowl rings didn’t come out of thin air because he made an offering to the Super Bowl fairy. Philip Rivers? Yes, as well. He had a bad season last year, probably the worst since 2007, but the Chargers were dysfunctional, as they always are in a way. That team has a need for a new coach, not a new quarterback. Big Ben, well I almost forgot about him.
So how many was it? 8. And I haven’t counted Stafford because I want to see another great season from him. Same goes for Cam Newton, who seems to be on the right route. Peyton? I need to see him play with people coming at him before I can make up my mind. But Flacco has some way to go before people can take him seriously when he calls himself the best quarterback in the NFL. Not even a Top 5.