Assessing Flacco’s Legacy

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Assessing Flacco’s Legacy

Adam Carroll, Staff

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It’s official, the Baltimore Ravens are moving on from their longtime quarterback, Joe Flacco. According to a tweet by Adam Schefter, they have agreed to trade him to the Denver Broncos once the new league business year begins on March 13. 

How he’ll be remembered has yet to be seen. While he’s been able to lead the Ravens to a good amount of success during his 11 seasons with the team, he has always been criticized by the media for his inconsistent performance, especially over the past few seasons.  

Even though Flacco may not have been the greatest quarterback ever, he still has done stuff that few quarterbacks said they could do. He has a Super Bowl MVP under his belt, which is every NFL player’s dream. During that Super Bowl season in 2012, Flacco had a nearly flawless postseason, throwing eleven touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s in good company as the only other person to do that in a postseason was Joe Montana. Along the way, he beat two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The only other person to do that was Mark Sanchez. He was also the first quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs in his first five seasons and has the most road postseason wins among quarterbacks at 6.  

However, after the Super Bowl season, Flacco signed a big contract worth $120 million. In 2013, he regressed significantly, and the Ravens missed the playoffs for the first time during his tenure. He was able to rebound and lead the Ravens back to the playoffs in 2014, but the next few years were marked by injuries and declining performance. He tore his ACL in 2015 and had subpar seasons in 2016 and 2017. 

This past season saw Flacco play his best football in years with a revamped wide receiver corps during the first half of the year. However, he hurt his hip midway through the season, and Lamar Jackson took the season by storm with his electrifying athleticism, leading a 4-5 team to win 6 of its last 7 games and the AFC North title. 

Although Flacco didn’t play like he was being paid $120 million, he still showed shades of the Super Bowl MVP he once was during his later years with the team. In 2014, he threw a career high 27 touchdowns and barely missed out on throwing 4,000 yards. In 2016, amid his decline, he was still able to throw a career high 4,317 yards. And during the game in 2015 in which he tore his ACL, he didn’t let that stop him from leading the Ravens on a game winning drive. 

Flacco’s main problem was consistency. One week, he could play like Joe Montana and then play like Ryan Leaf the next.  

In conclusion, even though he may not have been an elite quarterback, he was still a very talented player who could rise to the occasion when it mattered the most. He turned the Ravens from a struggling team to annual playoff contenders. His magical performance in the 2012 postseason is what sealed his place in Ravens history. Ravens nation will be eternally grateful for that run, but that’s in the past. He’s 34 years old and is well past his prime. The Ravens have a young prospect in Lamar Jackson, and he has a lot of potential to grow into a talented star who can lead them into the future.