John Harbaugh say Joe Flacco is the best QB in the NFL

Jamison Hensley, ESPN:
"Joe Flacco, what can you say," Harbaugh said. "He's the best quarterback in football. We'll take him any day of the week, twice on Sunday or Saturday if that be the case." Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh declared Joe Flacco "the best quarterback in football" for the second time in less than a week.

Harbaugh is certainly entitled to his opinion, and many coaches would feel their quarterback is the best in football if he wins a playoff game nearly every year, spearheads a Super Bowl run and delivers a playoff victory over the franchise's most heated rival.

The first game on Saturday was the NFC matchup between the Carolina Panthers against the Arizona Cardinals. John Harbaugh must have the watched the second half on ESPN prior to his AFC tilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arizona QB Ryan Lindley threw for 51 yards on 16 of 28 passing and two interceptions. The Cardinals produced the fewest yards in NFL playoff history with 78, including 12 second half yards.

Joe Flacco has never passed for 4,000 yards or completed 63% of his passes in the regular season. He ranks 27th in QB rating in the regular season at 84.8, trailing Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton who is at 85.1. His teams have only won 12 games in a season, once. Those statistics make it hard to agree with John Harbaugh that Joe Flacco is the best QB in the NFL.

When mentioning the top NFL QB's, Joe Flacco is not in the conversation. The relatively unknown QB attended the University of Delaware following his transfer from the University of Pittsburgh. Maybe, it's the fact that we can not fathom a former Fightin' Blue Hen being a star NFL QB. The 10-4 playoff record doesn't resonate because Joe is so unflappable.

The past five playoff games for Joe Flacco have produced wins over top flight QB's Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick and Ben Roethlisberger. Joe's QB rating is 117.2 with 13 TD passes and no interceptions. Joe elevates his game in the playoffs, much to the delight of his head coach. The numbers bear this out.

John Harbaugh is correct in his assessment that Joe Flacco is the best playoff QB since 2008. 10 playoff victories are twice as many as any other QB. Seven postseason road wins are two more than any quarterback in NFL history. Six times in 14 playoff games, Joe has a QB rating over 100. "It is what it is." The purple koolaid is the preferred playoff refreshment.

In the past 11 New England Patriot's playoffs games, the Pats under the direction of Tom Brady are 5-6. In the head to head meetings against the Baltimore Ravens, New England is 1-2 and Tom Brady has had QB ratings of 49.1, 57.5 and 53.7 for an average of 56.3. That is Ryan Lindley territory.

"Well, I sucked pretty bad today, but our defense saved us," Brady said.
This was following the January 22, 2012 win over the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20 when K Billy Cundiff shanked the 32 yard field goal attempt. This was Tom's best playoff outing of the three against the Ravens.

On Sunday, it will be Tom Brady's 18-8 post season record against Joe Flacco's 10-4. Tom has a chance to prove John Harbaugh wrong. Either way, Joe Flacco is now part of the conversation. Let's see which "Mr. January" shows up.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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