- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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As part of ESPN's #NFLRank project, Football Outsiders named Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as the most overrated among players ranked 31-40. It's been about a week since anyone put the "overrated" label on Flacco, so the Super Bowl MVP was due to hear it again.
This is the point made by Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz:
Even if we dismiss any thought of future potential and only look at regular-season performance in 2012, Flacco was simply not as good as Andrew Luck (No. 41), Colin Kaepernick (No. 42),Robert Griffin (No. 46) or Russell Wilson (No. 47). And while those guys didn't lead their teams to the Super Bowl title, it's hard to say that they choked in the postseason.
Many of the statistics with Flacco and the NFL's young guns are comparable. I just wouldn't overlook the fact that Flacco produces big plays and plays big in critical moments.
Last season, Flacco ranked fourth in the NFL in fourth-quarter passing, which was better than Wilson (fifth), Kaepernick (seventh), RG III (17th) and Luck (29th). Flacco's 40 passes of at least 25 yards in the 2012 regular season ranked behind only Drew Brees (47).
The most valid criticism is Flacco's lack of consistency. Last year, he produced more games of fewer than 200 yards passing (six) than with more than 300 yards (five).
Flacco's trump card is victories. His 63 wins since 2008, including the regular season and playoffs, are six more than anyone else during that same span, according to ESPN Stats & Information. While some will argue Flacco hasn't necessarily played a big role in those wins, his numbers will dispute that. In those wins, Flacco has averaged 227 yards passing with 88 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
I understand the buzz about the latest wave of good young quarterbacks. But I question the assertion that they're better than Flacco when you're comparing their rookie seasons to a Super Bowl champion's five-year body of work.
As part of ESPN's #NFLRank project, Football Outsiders named Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as the most overrated among players ranked 31-40.