Well Ravens fans, here we are yet again. On the outside looking into the postseason after one of the most exhilarating and heartbreaking losses in recent memory.
Many things transpired on Heinz field Sunday night, with the most significant one obviously being Antonio Brown’s incredible play to send the birds packing for their second straight season.
However, something else occurred Sunday night that in different circumstances might be getting more publicity. That of course would be the fact that quarterback Joe Flacco surpassed the 4,000 yard threshold for the first time in his eight year career.
Are congratulations in order? Should we throw a parade for signal caller? Not in my opinion. To me, this stat never really mattered and probably never will when it comes to Flacco.
My supporting evidence for that? The fact that Flacco passed this mark in a loss that knocked his team out of the postseason in a year in which the quarterback had some of his toughest struggles (while also ironically hitting statistical highs).
What amplifies this point to an even higher degree is that last night’s loss knocked the Ravens out of Super Bowl contention for the first time ever with Flacco in the lineup and healthy with more of the regular season left to play. Hate on number five all you want, but that right there is a pretty incredible stat.
The fact that Flacco had never managed to gain 4,000 yards was always a point made by his detractors, but now that he’s done it in a lost season, it should become pretty clear that the stat has never mattered when it comes to evaluating him. As much as we all love Flacco, it should now be more clear than ever that he isn't capable of uplifting the talent around him, at least during the regular season.
2016 has proven what kind of passer Joe is, and it isn't one that has a proclivity to light up scoreboards and stat sheets with Herculean passing efforts. To me (and most Ravens fans) that is perfectly fine, but to others, it doesn't seem to cut it.
Joe Flacco turns 32 in 3 weeks. He's never thrown for 4,000 yards. He's never thrown 30 TD. He's thrown 10+ int for 9 straight years.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) December 25, 2016
Kenyon, come back to us buddy. Most sensible Ravens fans know that Flacco isn't in a class with Brady, Rodgers, or even Big Ben at times (and no we don't care what your “mentions” say).
And now that he has eclipsed the 4,000 yard mark in a lost 2016 season we know that he can't carry his team to the postseason without the requsite talent around him, and an offensive system conducive to his strengths.
We know that Joe isn't necessarily top-flight, so hopefully this will finally put an end to hot take specialists who constantly harp on it scrambling around like mad scientists making a discovery that is pivotal to the human race.
He is good-not-great, up-and-down, hot-and-cold, high-and-low. And if you can work your way around that as a franchise (as the Ravens have shown an ability to do) than that is perfectly fine.
Hopefully the front office will take this to heart, and assemble a talented offense that features a Flacco as the trailer rather than the truck. Is it ideal to have to supplement a franchise quarterback as much as I am suggesting?
Maybe not, but if it's all the team needs to finally get back to the playoffs after a two year drought, all of Ravens nation would gladly welcome it.