A confident and defiant Joe Flacco sounded off to the media yesterday, claiming he is a far better quarterback than he is portrayed to be.
"I don't get any credit for what I've done," said Flacco, Baltimore's starter since 2008. "Just look at my track record. Every year Baltimore has had a star running back, big-name receivers and one of the NFL's best defenses. Yet I single-handedly knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs in 2008, 2009 and 2010. No one else did that. I did. But I don't get any respect."
Flacco's statements are backed up by fact. In the AFC Championship Game at the end of his rookie year, Flacco went 13-for-30 for 130 yards, an 18.2 quarterback rating and 3 interceptions, including a game-clinching pick-six to Troy Polamalu. A year later in the playoffs, Flacco was 24-for-45 for 223 yards, 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions over two games. Last year Flacco stepped up again, knocking Baltimore out of the playoffs with a 2-turnover, 125-yard performance in Pittsburgh in the divisional round.
"You don't want to face Joe Flacco in the playoffs," said Flacco. "Not if he's wearing the same uniform as you are. I'll destroy you. That's just how I roll. But all you hear about is Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Tim Tebow. Guess what? I've beaten the Ravens more than all of those guys have combined!"
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says he supports his quarterback.
"Would I like to be heading into the playoffs with a quarterback who is, you know … good? Sure. Of course I would," said Harbaugh. "But there are only so many of those to go around. What we have is Joe Flacco, unfortunately. One thing he does provide, though, that those other guys don't, is motivation. My other players know they have to play their absolute best if they are going to beat Flacco. He's one of the NFL's great motivators."
Flacco, armed this season with the lowest completion percentage and most turnovers of his four-year career, went so far in his press conference to make a Joe Namath-like prediction.
"I'll say it and you guys can laugh if you want," said Flacco. "But I guarantee I will prevent the Ravens from winning the Super Bowl. In your FACE."