Grantland: The Tale of Two Flaccos

To recap: durability, pretty deep balls AND timely pass-interference penalties! You wouldn’t call it the sexiest quarterback package, and you certainly wouldn’t feel great about paying one of the league’s most lucrative ransoms for it. […]

Then again, the Ravens weren’t paying for Joe Flaccid. They were paying for Joe Flacco. You know, the calm dude from the playoffs. The towering, smiling, handsome, lanky, confident, gunslinging, teaser-killing, flag-generating, deep-ball-flinging machine. This version of Flacco suffered growing pains: seven straight road playoff battles; in the first five, he had no 200-yard games, one touchdown and six picks, three wins and two losses, and two season-ending stink bombs against the 2008-09 Steelers (three picks) and 2009-10 Colts (two picks, three points total). He looked better in his third postseason appearance (two more road games, including a blowout win in K.C.), then blossomed the following winter when deep threat Torrey Smith showed up. Flacco’s seven-game playoff stretch from January 2012 through last weekend kinda sorta maybe backs up John Harbaugh’s claim that Flacco is “the best quarterback in football.”