Many fans of the Baltimore Ravens as well as so-called experts all around the television dial have questioned the abilities of QB Joe Flacco to be the Franchise QB in the true definition of that term. They challenged him to be the leader of the team and win a big game against the better teams in the league and specifically the Pittsburgh Steelers. Flacco had not beaten the Steelers in a game that Ben Roethlisberger had played in. People said that Joe had padded his stats in games against the lesser competition in the league while floundering in the big games.
The comparisons to Atlanta's Matt Ryan and the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez, as well as recently including Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman all had Flacco spoken about in lesser terms than his young QB competition around the league. While today's huge win and almost perfect performance in the Ravens 35-7 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Steelers is only one game, it has made a statement that all future comparisons should cease immediately and this should put an end to anyone who thinks any of those quarterbacks should be "ranked" ahead of Baltimore's QB.
The Falcons and "Matty Ice" were demolished by the Chcago Bears today. The Buccaneers and Josh Freeman were embarrassed at home by the visiting Detroit Lions today. The Jets won this evening on a late field goal after the Dallas Cowboys blew a late lead with a blocked punt and interception that handed the game to New York, despite a pedestrian performance by Sanchez.
On the other hand, Flacco's 117.6 QB Rating says it all, as the 17 completions in 29 attempts for 224 yards, three pinpoint TD passes and no turnovers showed his fellow signal-callers how a young QB that has made the playoffs in all three of his seasons while not missing a single start has progressed to earn the right to be called the best of this group.
Enough of the comparisons for once and for all. Joe Flacco is better than Matt Ryan. Prior to today's game, their individual passing stats were virtually the same in every category except one: playoff wins. People dismissed that stat, saying it had nothing to do with Joe, but the team "carried" him to the post-season. They said Ryan was a better "Field General," Freeman was more athletic and Sanchez was much better-looking. All three of them might be true in some form or another, but they shouldn't make a difference in the proof that was confirmed today, which is that Joe Flacco is better than all three of them.
It might take a bit longer for the rest of the league and other naysayers to get on board with what Ravens fans know for sure right now. Who really cares what those people think anyway, as when Joe is holding the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis in February, perhaps then they will open their eyes and give the man his due. If Ravens fans didn't before now, they certainly did today.