The word "elite" gets thrown around with quarterbacks especially. "Is this guy elite?" "How can a quarterback be elite if he throws under 4000 yards every year?" However, the word "elite" is truly just an opinion as it is up to the reader to determine which categories makes a quarterback an upper-echelon player.
Some believe it is regular season wins. Some would say Super Bowls. We've even heard it's touchdowns and yards that determine how good a quarterback is. Whatever set of stats you want to look at, everyone should agree that a clutch quarterback is one they would rather have on their team regardless of the rest of the stats. What best way to look at how clutch a quarterback is than how they perform in the postseason compared to the average quarterback.
FiveThirtyEighttook a look at exactly that; just how many wins the average quarterback would have gotten in the playoffs versus the quarterback that actually led the team since 1970. The winner is a little surprising, but no Raven fan should be shocked to hear that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is actually the 4th ranked clutch quarterback. Ahead of guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, Flacco even finds himself in front of John Elway(5), Troy Aikmen(9), Drew Brees(26), Aaron Rodgers(20) and Ben Roethlisberger (15).
With 10 wins and only 5 losses in his playoff career, Flacco is one of the most winningest quarterbacks of the postseason. But when you look at the projected record of a replacement-level quarterback, the wins and losses flip. The average quarterback would have won only 5 games and would have lost 10 (5.3 and 9.7 respectively). Meaning that the probability that Flacco's wins happened by chance fall at a 0.6% chance!
Weirdly enough, Trent Dilfer finds himself on this list as well. With a 5-1 record in the postseason, Dilfer ranks at number 7 overall with an average quarterback win/loss record of 2.5 and 3.5, leaving him with a 2% chance that the record was luck.
Regardless of how you want to look at the elite quarterbacks, the proven clutch ability of Joe Flacco in the postseason is undeniable.