Improbable. Unprecedented. Shocking. Joe Flacco just won Baltimore the Super Bowl by producing one of the best runs for a quarterback in postseason history. While Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome figures out how to afford the Brink's truck soon to arrive at Flacco's house, ponder the extraordinary postseason a QB who had been nothing more than ordinary during the regular season achieved.
For the first time in four years the Super Bowl winning quarterback was not an elite signal caller during the regular season. Each of the last three years the Super Bowl MVP had been among the seven best regular season quarterbacks when measured by QB Rating and touchdown passes. Joe Flacco notched an 87.7 rating, 12th best in the NFL, and threw 22 touchdowns, number 15 in the league during the regular season. What Flacco had that compared favorably with Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees was an amazing postseason.
It was a clean sweep for Flacco during this year’s playoffs. He earned the best QB Rating (117.2), had the most touchdown passes (11), threw for the most yardage (1,140), and completed the four longest passes of the postseason. He did not throw an interception despite attempting 32 more passes than any other quarterback.
You have to go back to Steve Young in 1994 to find a QB with numbers anywhere close to Flacco in the postseason. Young tossed nine touchdown passes without an interception, earned the same QB Rating, but threw for 500 fewer yards. In 1992 Troy Aikman earned a better QB Rating, had eight passing scores, and managed 795 yards through the air. Joe Montana is Flacco's only equal when it come to 11 passing touchdowns in a playoff year without an interception. In 1989 Montana earned a 146.4 QB Rating while passing for 800 yards. Any way you judge it Flacco wasn't good, he was historically great this playoff season.
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It is not surprising that Young, Aikman, and Montana are in the Hall of Fame. Nobody would be shocked if Manning, Rodgers, and Brees join them in Canton, OH. For his career Flacco's QB Rating is 86.3. He has thrown 102 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. He averages about 220 yards passing a game over 80 regular season starts. While Flacco has put together an impressive 9-4 postseason record, before this season his playoff numbers were on par with his regular season stats.
Whether it be one great playoffs, or the start of incredible improvement in Flacco's play, his work this postseason ranks with the greatest performance in the history of the NFL. For the contract Flacco just earned, Newsome better hope it is more than just four great games.