Is it Time to Show Joe the Dough?
Baltimore January 20, 2013
Before the 2012 NFL season began Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco made it known to all that he believed he was an elite NFL quarterback even if many did not and questioned if Baltimore should reward him with a big payday. In a interview with WNST Flacco took it step further saying “I think I’m the best, I don’t think I’m top five, I think I’m the best” implying that he is a better quarterback than guys who last names are Brady, Rodgers, Brees and Manning (Eli and Peyton). Although he may believe that he is the best there is no avoiding the fact that the five gentlemen mentioned above all tout two things that Flacco does not have, a Superbowl ring and a franchise quarterback contract. After negotiations stalled this off season Flacco would again start the season without the contract he was seeking and on the hunt for his first trip to the Superbowl.
Today the Ravens are in the AFC Championship game facing the Patriots in Foxboro for the second year in a row and Flacco is a big reason why. Flacco out-dueled one of the Ravens arch nemesis’s Peyton Manning in Denver delivering a knockout bomb to Jacoby Jones to send the game into overtime. Sunday Flacco could take that last giant step in to the Superbowl but, this season however has not been without its challenges.
Baltimore started the season 9-3 but even then Flacco and the offense took the familiar look of a Jekyll and Hyde group. One week they were putting up 55 points in Oakland and two weeks later they depended on an extraordinary catch and run by Ray Rice as they struggled to a 16-13 win in San Diego. Much of the inconsistency was tied to Flacco’s icy relationship with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron who was fired following the Ravens lost to the Redskins.
Jim Caldwell is now calling the plays for the Ravens and Flacco is now the teams “General” as Ray Lewis told him following the team’s overtime victory over the Broncos. Although, for all intents and purposes today’s game will decide if Flacco is the General and if he will be paid as one.
To his compliment Flacco has already accomplished some pretty impressive things in his career. Flacco was the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games; he is the only quarterback to start and win a playoff game in his first five seasons and is tied with Eli Manning for the most playoff road wins by a quarterback with five.
Flacco also already holds Ravens franchise records for Career Passing Yards, Completions, Touchdowns, regular and post season wins. These accomplishments are very impressive for the young quarterback however; they will mean nothing to Ravens fans and Flacco’s payday chances if the Flacco fails to get the Ravens past Tom Brady and the Patriots to make it to the Superbowl.
A poor performance and a Ravens loss today would likely mean an off season of questioning weather Flacco is the answer for the Ravens at quarterback although, those who would raise that question should research the lack of available options. However, if Flacco shows up big and propels his team to the big game the Ravens should indeed as Jerry Maguire would say “show him the money.”