Joe Flacco is a Ravens legend, and there is no denying that. The former Super Bowl MVP compiled a 96-67 career record while on the Ravens and led the team to six playoff appearances during his tenure.
In terms of where Flacco stands all-time with playoff performances, his name lies among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. His underrated playoff stats and accolades even surprised me as I merely recalled his many clutch and tranquil playoff performances.
Flacco ranks 11th all-time in playoff wins. He has more wins than other quarterbacks such as Bart Starr, Kurt Warner, Russell Wilson, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, Steve Young, and Dan Marino. Flacco ranks 2nd all-time in road playoff wins only trailing Tom Brady.
Flacco brought success to a franchise in limbo at the time he was drafted. His ability to rack up wins and consistently lead his team to the playoffs allowed for the establishment of a winning culture that still remains today.
Due to the new number rule recently passed by owners, which allows for offensive skill players to wear single-digit numbers, Baltimore’s Marquise Brown capitalized on such an opportunity and will wear his college number, which happens to be the same number as Flacco’s.
I posed the question of retiring Flacco’s number to the Baltimore Beatdown team to obtain their opinions, and a consistent pattern of responses were received.
In my view, retired numbers should only be reserved for the club’s Mt. Rushmore members - Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jon Ogden and Terrell Suggs. While former franchise quarterback Joe Flacco routinely played his best in rivalry games and the postseason, he was not as consistently excellent as the aforementioned Ravens icons. Judging from his big game performances during his first two seasons, Marquise Brown is a worthy successor to carry on the legacy of No. 5s who rise to the occasion when the stakes are highest.
At the end of the day, I don’t really care whether numbers are retired or not. However, if they are going to be retired, I believe that it should be reserved for the all-time legends of the game. Joe Flacco was the first franchise quarterback for the Ravens and brought home a second Lombardi Trophy following one of the best postseason runs of all time in which he threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. While Flacco is a lock for the Ring of Honor in Baltimore, he is not an all-time great at his position. It may be difficult for some fans to see someone else sport the No. 5 on their jersey for the Ravens, but in the end it is only a number, and I can almost guarantee that Flacco isn’t losing sleep over it.
Joe Flacco has a special place in the hearts of Ravens fans for his memorable five year stretch of “January Joe” coming out when the lights were brightest. With that being said, jersey numbers are fun to retire until your team is 75 years down the road and 10-15% of numbers are limited.
It’s also good fun to have jersey numbers that carry weight, and not just any player can wear. Marquise Brown is in the top 15 in receiving touchdowns since entering the league and seems to have a passion for hard work. Hollywood will do No. 5 justice, as he tends to rise to the occasion under the brightest lights, similar to Joe.
Joe Cool will always hold a special place in my heart and I’m sure the same goes for Ravens fans far and wide. This is thanks to the sweet memories he provided during his tenure as the Ravens franchise quarterback with the magical Super Bowl winning season being the pinnacle of it. However, as elite as he was in the postseason when the team made it, he wasn’t nearly as consistent in the regular season. I’d be much more sentimental about someone else wearing the No.5 after him, but the fact that he’s now on his third team since being traded following the 2018 season makes me okay with Hollywood returning to his college number. The Ravens Mount Rushmore currently consists of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Jonathan Ogden. If and when Lamar Jackson leads the franchise to their third title, they’ll have to make room for one more.
Joe Flacco’s resume with the Ravens is esteemed and undisputed. He has a Super Bowl ring and MVP to his name, along with a handful of playoff victories and impressive performances in big games. To this date, he’s the best quarterback in franchise history (excluding Lamar Jackson). However, retiring jersey numbers should be reserved to a select few. While he deserves his flowers, Flacco’s career in totality does not measure up to the likes of other Ravens’ legends like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, etc. It’s a slippery slope to retire the jerseys of players who are the fringes of this tier. Therefore, I do not have an issue with Marquise Brown switching his jersey number to No. 5.