Saturday, June 10, 2017

Is Joe Flacco's statistical drop-off overstated?

Seriously. I am a Bengals fan, so by no means do like the Ravens or Joe Flacco (though I do love Harbaugh). But there's been a lot of talk on this sub about whether or not Joe Flacco is even an above average QB in the league today, which if you ask me is pretty ridiculous. He has had a statistical drop-off to be sure, but I think many people overstate this drop-off.

Now, we all know Joe is not elite. In the playoffs sure, but in the regular season his ceiling has consistently been below elite. However, I think his stats should be put into context because the last three years he hasn't had whole lot to work with.

His 2016 season he threw for 4,317 yards with 20 TD's and 15 INT's completing 64.9% of his passes. Career highs in both yards and completion percentage, all coming off a major injury last season. His leading receivers at this time: Kamar Aiken and Mike Wallace, both of which would be WR3's on most teams. His TE's were below average and the run game was pretty bad as well.

Just a quick look at best statistical seasons which came in 2010 and 2014; they're both pretty close.

2010: 3,622 yards, 25:10 TD/INT, 62.6% completion.

2014: 3,986 yards, 27:12 TD/INT, 62.1% completion. (Career high in TD's)

2010 he had a great run game with Ray Rice running or 1,200 yards, and his leading receivers were Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and Ray Rice put up half a thousand yards too.

2014 he had Steve Smith Sr. and Torey Smith receiving, both put up good numbers. Justin Forsett led the running game which was even better than Rice's 2010 season.

My point is: Joe Flacco has never really been an elite QB and in my opinion, he receives unfair criticism for his recent output. He posted career highs in yards and completion percentage despite having mediocre WR's and a bad running game. His best seasons were ones in which he had decent receivers and a great running game. The one legitimate knock on his 2016 campaign was his TD/INT ratio, but it's hard to avoid throwing picks when your receivers are seldom open.

TL;DR: Flacco's 2016 season showed a career high in yards and completion percentage, high number of INT's. Poor supporting cast and team overall. When he has talent around him, he is noticeably better.

Thoughts? I know this sub shits on Joe a lot and as a Bengals fan, I have done the same. But I feel like the notion that he is a below average starter in the league is incorrect, and the criticism he receives is perhaps a bit unfair. His 2016 season has been called his worst statistically despite career highs in yards and completion percentage. You can knock the man for his INT's, but just keep in mind the receivers he had to work with.

Submitted June 10, 2017 at 12:02PM by BackAlleyPrisonRape
via reddit

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