Is 2012 When Joe Flacco Puts It All Together?

It’s always the same song and dance for the Baltimore Ravens, so why don’t we get the Joe Flacco debate going early before it inevitably comes our way.

It’s an interesting debate to be had: Can Joe Flacco lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl berth? While I would guess that most here on Baltimore Beatdown support and believe in Joe Flacco, outside of our little world amongst other Ravens fans, that support seems to be split almost 50/50. Perhaps some of this has to do with the national media’s perception of Flacco and the criticisms that major networks like ESPN have had of him.

Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, it’s hard to deny that Joe Flacco has brought consistency to the Ravens’ shaky history at the quarterback position along with consistent winning, production, and playoff wins.

After the "Jump", read some clippings that show the Ravens organization are behind Flacco all the way.

As the continuous debate rages on about which NFL quarterbacks belong in the "elite" camp and which don’t, the question becomes: what does Joe Flacco have to do to move himself into that conversation? The simple answer would be that Flacco needs to win a ring to be considered among the NFL’s best. After coming so close to a Super Bowl berth this year with a chance at a ring, Owner Steve Bisciotti believes that this is just the beginning of Joe Flacco’s prime:

"I think he is going to be extremely successful, and I think he's going to have rings, and I think he's got 10 years of his prime to show it, and I think that he will be rewarded for his personality in the long run, and hopefully our fans will, too."

It seems like some folks still forget how young Joe Flacco is with most of his career ahead of him. After four years and four playoff trips that resulted in two AFC Championship Game appearances, it almost stands to reason that the Ravens should be back in a position to contend each year with a strong defense and Joe Flacco at quarterback. So, what does Flacco need to do to earn the support of the fans while it’s very obvious how the organization feels?

In a league that heavily favors offenses and almost promotes high-scoring shootouts, there has never been as much of an emphasis on statistics as there currently is now. Although Flacco has never posted gaudy numbers, his overall statistics aren’t cause for concern or maybe even criticism. Here’s a quick breakdown of Flacco’s numbers through four years:

Games started: 64 (regular season)

Attempts: 1,958

Completions: 1,190

Completion %: 60.8

Yards: 13,816

TD/INT: 80/46

Rating: 86.0

W/L: 49/24 (including playoffs)

Some perhaps would argue that Flacco’s completion percentage is cause for concern, but the simple explanation is that he works in an offense that favors down-field vertical passing and low completion rate plays. The long and short of it is that Flacco has won a remarkable amount of games in a very short period of time with maybe a less than stellar receiving group to work with for much of his career. With a young offense consisting of Ray Rice, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, and Torrey Smith, a little time for Flacco and his young receivers to gel could prove to work wonders for the offenses overall production.

After Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl a few days ago and maybe moved himself into a position to be called "elite", offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, took to the airwaves to share some of the similarities he sees between both Flacco and Manning. In a story posted on BaltimoreRavens.com, Cam Cameron had this to say about his young signal caller:

"I think there are a lot of parallels when you look at where they both were after four years. They both have had a reasonable amount of success. We all know the success Joe has had, we all know Joe’s upside. I think people were saying the same thing about Eli."

Cameron also added the following on both quarterback’s quiet leadership style:

"They do have similar leadership styles. I just think is shows that whether it's an NFL quarterback, a head coach, there's all sorts of leadership. The bottom line is getting the job done your way. I think that's the most important thing."

Despite the recent criticisms of Cameron, it’s hard to argue with his logic. Although statistics are being discussed and used more and more, the only true stat that matters at the end of the day are wins and losses, and in that area of his game, Joe Flacco has been fantastic.

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