Joe Flacco had his moment while Matt Ryan melted
Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco and Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan are quarterbacks that will always be discussed in tandem, because they not only entered the NFL as 1st round quarterbacks in the 2008 NFL draft, but were also instrumental to the turnarounds of those teams. The Falcons were recovering from an anemic season that ended in controversy over Michael Vick’s arrest and prosecution due to dog fighting. And the Ravens were recovering from a long string of lackluster offenses, led by failed quarterback projects that never matched up with the play of the legendary Baltimore defense. When NFL historians look back on the 2008 draft, and determine which quarterback was the best out of Ryan and Flacco. Joe Flacco will be number 1 and Matt Ryan the number 2.
The reason for this decision should be incredibly obvious. Joe Flacco wins Playoff games while Matt Ryan loses them. Joe Flacco has a Playoff record of 8-4 including 3 AFC Championship appearances. Matt Ryan on the other hand, has a Playoff record of 1-4 with only 1 NFC Championship appearance that he lost. There will of course be controversy over this assessment, because Matt Ryan has never had the defenses Joe Flacco had to help him. However the 2012 Playoffs were a showcase of just how much greater Joe Flacco is, compared to Matt Ryan.
Matt Ryan in two starts averaged 323 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1.5 interceptions with an average QB rating of 105.2. Joe Flacco averaged 284 yards, 2.7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and an average QB rating of 116. The biggest number that jumps out is that Flacco doesn’t turn the ball over, and as a result makes him better. Turning the ball over in the regular season is bad, but turning it over in the Playoffs becomes amplified. Flacco doesn’t give the ball up, and his Playoff record is a testament to that fact.
I know it seems cliché to nickname Joe Flacco “Joe Cool”, but Matt Ryan’s nickname of “Matty ice” hasn’t lived up to its moniker. With a 1-4 record, Matt Ryan has always look flustered and irritated during each of those games. Flacco on the other hand is well “cool”. He is always in the middle, and has drawn unfavorable comparisons to Eli Manning, because of his quirky behavior sometimes in interviews. However the debate over whether Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan is better, is over and if Flacco wins Super Bowl XLVII, then it will only be the icing on the cake.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.