Don't look now, but Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco is the leading passer in the AFC and second in the NFL behind the New York Giants' Eli Manning. Flacco is averaging 304 yards per game after the first three contests this season. Throwing for 382 yards in the Ravens recent 31-30 win over the New England Patriots certainly helped that average, but he had thrown for 299 and 232 yards in the first two games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
His 913total passing yards put him on pace for over 4,800 for the season, way more than his personal single-season best of 3,622 in the 2010 season. His 64% completion average is a record high for him and his 101.1 Quarterback Rating is 9th in the league and well above his personal best of 93.6, also from the 2010 season. Flacco has thrown six TD passes in the three games and that projects to 32 on the season, seven more than his 2010 season.
His 18 completions of 20+ yards is the most in the NFL, and his average per attempt is among the best in the league. Anyone who wants to doubt the potential of Flacco to be mentioned along with the best in the league need only to look at their contribution to their team's success. The Ravens vaunted defense has been anything other than that, as they are currently ranked 27th overall, while the once-maligned offense sits at the #4 position in the NFL, averaging close to 420 yards a game.
Furthermore, the teams with quarterbacks normally in the conversation of being the top in the league, Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers), New England Patriots (Tom Brady). Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger), Denver Broncos (Peyton Manning), Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford) and Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton) all have a 1-2 record and the New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees) are winless at 0-3.
While it is still way too early in the 2012 season to make any bold claims how things will eventually turn out, the positive trend we are seeing in the way Flacco is taking control of the offense and the weapons he has at his disposal, give every indication that he can continue his personal growth, which will only benefit the team as well.