(FOOTBALLStL) - Sam Bradford, take notice. This is what elite quarterback play looks like. Yes, I said the word elite.
Trying to decipher exactly what the world "elite" means is quite subjective, but unfortunately it takes a team accomplishment like winning a championship to get most people to throw that term around for an individual. An individual like Joe Flacco.
The Ravens quarterback, for too long, has been viewed as a pretty good - yet not quite great - QB. Little do people take note of what he has done on the field though. From the day he was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft out of Delaware, Flacco's been the model of consistency.
He's never had a completion percentage below 57.6 or above 63.1. Since his rookie year he's been between 3,610 yards and 3,817 yards. Same with touchdowns (20-25) and interceptions (10-12).
Flacco has not had the greatest supporting cast in the world, though. And because of that his teams haven't allowed him the opportunity to shine on the league's biggest stage. Until now. Until Super Bowl 47. Going 22-33 for 287 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions en route to being named the MVP.
Now...now...he'll get the recognition he deserves. All because he won a Super Bowl. Yes, he won it. With no help of anyone else on that roster. In case you can't tell, that's sarcasm. Nothing bothers me more than individuals getting credit for team success. However, in this case that flaw in the system serves a purpose. In a backwards kind of way, someone who hasn't gotten enough credit will finally get it because of something he had an outrageous amount of help achieving.
But what Joe Flacco's done up to this point deserves the type of praise that gets your name among the greats like Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Manning. It's not because HE has won a Super Bowl. It's because he's played so well on the biggest of stage and been as consistent as you can be.
That's the thing about athletes. It's one thing to be a flash in the pan who totally dominates a game every so often. But those types of guys can often have duds that do the exact opposite. What coaches want is someone who is consistent. Someone who they know exactly what they're going to get on Sunday. Those are they guys to count on. No surprises. Just business as usual.
Giving your team the chance to win like Flacco's done in his career, capped off by getting enough help to do it in the Super Bowl, is what Joe Flacco needed.
To get his named mentioned as one of the great QBs in the NFL.