I have personally never been a fan of the "elite quarterback" discussion, but this question is inevitably going to be raised following Flacco's elite-level play so far this post season.

To me, his career and ascension is reminiscent of Eli Manning's. In that I mean they are both quarterbacks who have been oft-criticized for poor decision making and bad passes, tendencies that kept them both out of the elite discussion for a while. But it looks like the two of them have something else in common: the ability to play well in big games, especially on the road.

Eli silenced his critics and firmly established himself as a Top 5 quarterback with his performances during the Giant's two Super Bowl runs. With last night's victory at Foxborough, Flacco's playoff record on the road is now 6-4, surpassing none other than Eli Manning for the most road victories in NFL postseason history. Flacco is also clearly having his best postseason to date, throwing 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in 3 victories over tough AFC opponents. I wish I was writing these numbers about Tom Brady, but I'm not.

And I am not saying that Flacco is the same caliber quarterback as Tom Brady, because he is not, and probably never will be. Regarding elite status and whether Flacco deserves it, I do not believe he is there yet. I believe the top 5 quarterbacks in the league make up the elite category, and Flacco is not on the short list.

That being said; if Flacco plays well in the Super Bowl and earns his team a ring, like Eli, his case for elite status will improve greatly as a result of his consistent performance in high-pressure situations. Joe Flacco is not a top 5 NFL quarterback, but it's getting harder to argue against him.


Liam Cunningham 1/21/2013 06:44:00 PM Edit

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