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 Post subject: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:45 am 
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I missed this last week on Grantland. Basically an article detailing that Ryan has added significant value to his team, while Flacco really hasn't in terms of wins.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/843 ... ir-defense

The Myth of Joe Flacco
The Ravens' success has more to do with their defense than with the guy under center
By Bill Barnwell on September 28, 2012


There are two guaranteed bits of patter that show up at one point or another between plays in Baltimore Ravens game. One, as I mentioned in the Trade Value Rankings last month, is that Haloti Ngata played rugby when he was younger. Did you know that Haloti Ngata is big and would be hard to take down if he still played rugby? It's true!

The other factoid comes up when the Ravens are on offense, and it involves quarterback Joe Flacco. Inevitably, a graphic will pop up noting that Flacco has one of the best win-loss records for a quarterback at this young point in his career. That lends itself to a discussion of how Flacco's an elite quarterback who doesn't get the credit he deserves (if Flacco's playing well), or how he's a guy on the cusp of becoming elite if he could just take another step forward (if he just threw a hanger off his back foot that bounced off his receiver's ankle).

It's a disingenuous piece of trivia, and everybody knows it. For whatever good or bad Flacco provides, he has spent his entire career as the starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, who perennially possess one of the league's best defenses. He also has Ray Rice and a solid running game to go alongside him on offense. It's safe to say that a win by, say, Cam Newton usually requires more work from the quarterback than one by Flacco.

That's where I got the idea for a junk stat that might put Flacco's gaudy record in its proper perspective. There's a simple way to measure the benefit Flacco gets from his defense: Account for points allowed. By building a baseline for how frequently a quarterback wins with a given number of points allowed, it's possible to get a vague estimate of how he's performing versus expectations.1

How does that work? Well, I built models for each three-year period from 1993 through to 2011 that estimated a team's percentage of winning, given a certain point total (with some smoothing). As an example, take Flacco's first career win, a 17-10 victory over the Bengals in Week 1 of the 2008 season. As you might suspect, teams who only allow 10 points win that game very frequently; by my count, within that given three-year time frame and incorporating games in which teams allowed eight to 12 points, a quarterback will win that game 86.5 percent of the time. Since Flacco won, he's credited with .135 wins2 over expectation. Had his team lost, Flacco would have produced -0.865 wins.

I went and ran this for the first four years of Flacco's career and the vast, vast majority of starts for quarterbacks from 1993 through to the end of last season. And you know what? Joe Flacco's win total isn't really that impressive. Flacco's Ravens won 44 of 64 regular-season games from 2008 to 2011. By my count, an average NFL quarterback3 with a similarly effective defense would have won 42 games with that same defensive output. Flacco's winning ways, if you want to give him credit for them, were worth about a half-win per season.

The other quarterback who got heaps of credit for being a winner under similar circumstances was Mark Sanchez, but his situation was different. Sanchez enjoyed a similarly brilliant running game and defense under Rex Ryan in New York, but what put Sanchez over the top wasn't his cumulative win totals; it was his playoff performances. Never mind that the 2009 Jets made it to the AFC Championship game while riding an incredible streak of five consecutive missed field goals in the playoffs, a random act that comes through town about once every 5,000 tries. Until the Jets collapsed and missed the playoffs last year, Sanchez's reputation as a winner was golden.

The problem with that is that Sanchez really hasn't won very much more than you might expect. From 2009 to 2011, Sanchez's Jets went 27-20 during his regular-season starts. Over that time frame, an average quarterback with the same points-allowed profile would have won … 26.3 games. Given a dominant defense, Sanchez has held serve during the regular season before raising his game and playing more efficiently during the postseason.

Who actually has contributed far more wins than his defense's performance would have indicated over the past 20 years? You're never going to guess who comes up. In first place by a wide margin are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning! I know, stunning. Brady's slightly ahead, as his 159 starts between 2001 and 2011 resulted in 124 wins against an expectation of just 92.8 wins. That difference of 31.2 wins translates to 3.14 additional wins per 16 games, which is the highest figure for anybody over that time frame. Peyton is right behind him at 3.03 marginal wins per 16 games.

After Brady and Manning are the likes of Steve Young and John Elway, but just behind them is a surprising candidate: Matt Ryan. Like Flacco, Ryan had a reputation as the guy who handed the ball off to a successful running game during his rookie season, but he appears to have grown into a more complete quarterback than Flacco by now, playoff performance (and win totals) aside. Ryan's won a bunch more games than you might think. In 61 starts (excluding a three-pass outing against the Bucs), Ryan has won 42 games. An average passer with Ryan's same points allowed would have won just 33.3 games, giving Ryan a difference of 8.7 wins, or 2.3 wins above expectation per 16 games.

On the flip side, David Carr was dismal. Carr won just 23 of his 79 starts, virtually all of which came as a member of the Texans. Carr didn't have great defenses in Houston, but they were better than his performance, as their figures suggest that Carr "should" have won about 34 games, an 11-game swing. Among active quarterbacks, the worst candidate has been Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who won 18.54 games against an expectation of just under 23 wins.

Of course, there are plenty of limitations to this simple metric. It doesn't incorporate game style or factor pick-sixes/other touchdowns not allowed by the defense into the discussion. Perhaps there is something about Flacco's performance that is grossly underestimated in his statistical line and the defense's points allowed that makes him so valuable. In reality, though, people want to use Flacco's win-loss total as a measure of his level of performance, and when they do so, just about all they're reporting on is how well Baltimore's defense has played.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:10 am 
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That's a pretty significant find, IMHO. Great stat. It confirms that the Falcons lean on Matt Ryan to win games, and that he does so. Imagine if the Falcons had real coordinators for the past several years.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:57 pm 
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in his first year, Flacco secured a win in the postseason. He became only the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first post-season start, and the first to do it on the road. And HE scored the gamesealing TD himself.

And then the following year, an injured Flacco had a horrible outing: yet still managed not to throw the game away and secured another postseason win against the Patriots.

then in 2010: he did it again. and the next year.

so forgive me but this article is patently absurd :rofl:

no wonder the dude calls it a 'junk stat'. It's like saying 'if you put Cam Newton on the Ravens he would do as well or better then Flacco'. that is nonsense.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Flacco doesn't get enough credit, IMO. It doesn't matter and really cannot be ascertained as to "who is better." They are both pretty darn good. Flacco throws a nice pass and orchestrates so effective two minute offenses. Ryan no slouch either. What is the point other than, more or less, the point in comparing Ryan to Schaub, Vick, Harrington, etc?

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:04 pm 
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The thing you have to respect about Flacco is that he has "balls," thanks to superior arm strength. Reminds me of Eli Manning in that way in his willingness to take shots downfield. Really the only difference between him, Eli, and Big Ben (who is similar) is that Flacco has a lot less mobility and seems to take too many sacks.

But it is interesting that you cannot find a single "advanced stat" over the past 2-3 years that suggests Flacco is at or near the top tier of passers. He's more in the #10-15 range rather than Top 10. But he does certainly pass the eyeball test, at least certainly he does this year.

fun gus wrote:
It's like saying 'if you put Cam Newton on the Ravens he would do as well or better then Flacco'. that is nonsense.

I don't think it's as much nonsense as you think. Newton is held back by a subpar coaching staff and defense. I think if you could magically transport Newton back in time and put him on the Ravens circa 2008, then I think he too would have around 55 career wins now.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:18 pm 
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I've always thought that Matt Ryan was better than Joe Flacco. But since they entered the league, they've been pretty much mirror images, especially i win totals their first few years; identical.

Nevertheless, I've always thought that Ryan's game was a lot more pure in terms of overall QB play. But Flacco looks the best he ever has nowadays. And he played like a legend in the AFC Championship game last year (that darn Billy Cundiff. And he's still at it in Washington too). So we'll see how this turns out.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
fun gus wrote:
It's like saying 'if you put Cam Newton on the Ravens he would do as well or better then Flacco'. that is nonsense.

I don't think it's as much nonsense as you think. Newton is held back by a subpar coaching staff and defense. I think if you could magically transport Newton back in time and put him on the Ravens circa 2008, then I think he too would have around 55 career wins now.



the definition of insanity.

nuff said :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Confess_Jesus_Now wrote:
I've always thought that Matt Ryan was better than Joe Flacco. But since they entered the league, they've been pretty much mirror images, especially i win totals their first few years; identical.

Nevertheless, I've always thought that Ryan's game was a lot more pure in terms of overall QB play. But Flacco looks the best he ever has nowadays. And he played like a legend in the AFC Championship game last year (that darn Billy Cundiff. And he's still at it in Washington too). So we'll see how this turns out.



hey, even the Holy Ghost recognizes 4 consecutive post season wins. :pray:

Confess: Flacco is and will always be > Ryan until he gets ONE playoff win.
Hell, maybe two.

There is 'faith' and there is 'fruitless'. Trying to use some useless stats to prop up Ryan is 'fruitless'

"hey that sh*t dont stink! I got some stats to prove it!" :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Teams go to the post season and teams win or lose there. There just isn't a reasonable metric to compare guys. You can use all the stats in the world--including wins and losses--and it doesn't do much more than create numeric conjecture. I do know that the Falcons had much further to go to get where they are than the Ravens did. Matt is a part of that but, frankly, I would say TD and Smitty are a bigger part.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:30 pm 
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I will again point out that this team, over the past several years, was horribly conservative. We would keep games close to the very end and then ask Matt to win them for us. Matt came through, a LOT. 17 or 18 times in his career he has led a game winning drive. In the post season, our horribly conservative offense has led to us getting seriously behind. Even when behind, we still wouldn't turn the game over to Ryan till the end. More than anything, our coaching was holding Ryan back, just as the coaching in San Diego was holding Brees back.

I have always tried explaining to you guys that Ryan was much better than his stats showed. He was much better than his post season performances indicated. His biggest shortcoming was his deep ball, and Mularkey coached him to throw it where no one could get it. The difference this year is night and day. In time, you will all come to realize that Matt is the best QB that the Falcons have ever had, and he will be known as one of the best of the NFL in the post P.Manning/Brady era. (I doubt that he's as good as Manning, Brady, or Brees in their prime, but he's not that far behind.)


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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Thanks for informing us of that, Robert. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:01 am 
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backnblack wrote:
Teams go to the post season and teams win or lose there.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

It's so sad in this day when this idea is still lost on/ignored by people. Is Mark Sanchez better than Matt Ryan because he's won multiple games in the playoffs? Quarterbacks are one of 53 players on an NFL roster. And while they are far and away the most important of those 53, they still can only go as far as the other 52 players will allow.

I like Flacco, and his performances in the '08 playoffs were some of the reasons why I like him. But I do think Ryan is slightly better, because I think Ryan has more of the traits you look for in a top QB. I do think Flacco by and large is underrated by the majority of the Falcon fan base because of some silly perception that we are supposed to hate him, as if you there is some law that says you can only like Ryan or Flacco.

But I do think that the premise of this article is about on par. Flacco hasn't had to do as much work in past years to win games as several other QBs, including Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, etc.

I do think that this year, Flacco is more of the impetus that makes the Ravens go since their D isn't as strong as it once was. If you put Roethlisberger, Eli, and Bledsoe into a melting pot, Joe Flacco would emerge.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:36 am 
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If you think Joe Flacco is on the level of Matt Ryan, you are a fool. This yearly debate just makes me laugh. Flacco was pretty average last year while Ryan still managed to put up great numbers. Flacco just seems to get by, while Ryan continues to raise his game. Flacco is improving and could be on his way to being a top ten QB but this whole debate about him being better than Ryan or Ryan being better by a little bit is a joke.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:39 am 
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Before people dump on Flacco, people should remember that Flacco has been held back by his play-calling just as much as Ryan in the past. For all the success that Cam Cameron had in San Diego, he has not been very good in Baltimore. But Cameron has shown a bit more flexibility this year, allowing Flacco to operate more out of the no-huddle/up-tempo offense.

So many of the "excuses" used to defend Ryan also apply to Flacco...

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:27 am 
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backnblack wrote:
Teams go to the post season and teams win or lose there. There just isn't a reasonable metric to compare guys. You can use all the stats in the world--including wins and losses--and it doesn't do much more than create numeric conjecture. I do know that the Falcons had much further to go to get where they are than the Ravens did. Matt is a part of that but, frankly, I would say TD and Smitty are a bigger part.


i get what your saying, but the thread is not which 'team' is better. simply put, you cannot discount 4 consecutive ps wins vs 3 'one and outs'. no way,no how. :snooty:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:59 am 
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fun gus wrote:
i get what your saying, but the thread is not which 'team' is better. simply put, you cannot discount 4 consecutive ps wins vs 3 'one and outs'. no way,no how. :snooty:

I don't think the author was discounting them. I think he's just pointing out that it's easier to win in Baltimore with that defense than it has been for other QBs elsewhere.

The Ravens have had a Top 10 total defense every year that Flacco has played for them, with 3 of those years having a Top 3 defense. And every year, they've finished 3rd in scoring defense. You also have to factor that in.

We know there is a strong correspondence between teams that win in January and teams that have top-level defenses.

And it's interesting IMO because when you look at those "cute stats" as you like to refer them, Flacco is always an above average QB, but never an elite one. And I think the reason for that is that Flacco has never really had to be that, because he could always rely on his defense to play well, so he never has to do as much.

Now that the Ravens defense isn't as good, IMO it's no coincidence that we're seeing Flacco posting much better numbers.

I think you have to find a balance between overall success and postseason success. I think too often fans in particular like to boil things down solely to postseason success. The only QB that has won more playoff games in his first 4 seasons than Flacco is Tom Brady. Flacco is up there with Warner and Big Ben with 5 wins, Brady has 6. That's an excellent achievement.

But IMHO the interesting thing about that is that Tom Brady wasn't particularly that good when the Patriots were winning those games. Frankly, when Brady has been the truly HOF caliber QB, the Patriots success in the postseason has been mixed. When he was just a young game manager, their postseason success was second to none. What does that mean? In my eyes, it sort of completely undermines the idea that QBs "win" in the playoffs.

And IMO if you're going to boil down a Matt Ryan vs. Joe Flacco comparison to only postseason success (as you did in your original post), then you're purposefully looking only a single, and arguably smallest aspect of the comparison. And it's not really comparing the QBs, you're simply comparing the teams.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:09 pm 
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It is easy to say, "Matt Ryan sucks when the pressure is on," but when you look at the performances that Matt has put up when the pressure is on, it goes against that notion. Matt has gone up against the best QBs in this league and has been a solid performer. Some of his best days have been against some of the toughest defenses in the league. He has led game winning drives against Green Bay, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. (17 total) I just don't buy that because it is the post season, suddenly Ryan sucks.

When I saw last year's team take the field against Green Bay, I saw a team that had lost before it took the field. They played scared, unmotivated football. The game plans were the same crap that we saw all season long, and you simply cannot elevate your level of play when you know going in that you're going to be out-coached. There was no aggressiveness, no killer instinct. We were simply going through the motions.

It is possible that's a trademark of a Mike Smith team. But obviously, things are different this year. We're not playing the same boring football that we've been playing for the past several years. Our defense is an aggressive/attacking defense. Our offensive coordinator is scheming to attack our opponents at their weak points. Our passing routes are designed to get people open. We're even using SCREENS! (3 TD's in 4 games so far) You can see it on the field, and you can see it on the players' faces...
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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Interesting point about Brady's post season performances. I would say that a QBs performance on agiven day is probably less impactful that, say, a starting pitcher. I could be wrong. If you have a line up full of sluggers maybe it doesn't matter that your guy is not dominating. Or if your guy is dominant but your bats are anemic or your fielding (defense) is pourous (see: Braves, 2012 playoffs) you can still come up shy. Matt had enough gaffes versus AZ to say he was an issue but he made some plays as well. Similarly, versus GB he was actually doing well but made a killing mistake before the half. But the defense never forced a punt. You just are not going to win many games like that. Now, last year, Matt looked pretty bad but--as many of you suggested--it may have been scheme oriented. Still, the D gave him every chance int he first half to get some points.

What Cyril says is true--"everything counts." I don't study stats and all that much and really don't watch a whole lot of Ravens games but the ones I see my eyes tell me Flacco is pretty good. He is calm under pressure, throws a good deep ball, extends plays from the pocket and seems to go through progressions and spread the ball around.Mark Sanchez has won more playoffs than Matt but I don't think he is comparable. At day's end, I think you just ahve to watch a guy play and make your decision. I don't buy completely in to the notion of "money ball." Can be freakonomics-ish.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:13 am 
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I get the gist of, but disagree with the notion of playoff wins as an end-all be-all of QB performance/credit/ culpability. Tim Christ won a playoff game. Brad Johnson won a Super Bowl. Would you honestly ever take them over Ryan? Marino? It's comparable to a guy having an ERA of 1.00, but another guy has an ERA of 2.25, and gets the cy young because he has 5 more "wins"...because his team was superior offensively, and his bullpen didn't f*** up leads.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:55 am 
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one8swayze wrote:
I get the gist of, but disagree with the notion of playoff wins as an end-all be-all of QB performance/credit/ culpability. Tim Christ won a playoff game. Brad Johnson won a Super Bowl. Would you honestly ever take them over Ryan? Marino? It's comparable to a guy having an ERA of 1.00, but another guy has an ERA of 2.25, and gets the cy young because he has 5 more "wins"...because his team was superior offensively, and his bullpen didn't f*** up leads.



but that only works if it's a small sample. I would never believe Tebow is a better QB then Ryan because he won ONE playoff game. However, if he won 4 and Ryan had 3 one and outs, then I would say HELLS YES.

This thread and it's article is still silly. I get the 'team' concept: buthow is that working out for the Colts or the Eagles? Take Peyton out of that 'team' last year, and how did they look? Mike Vick fumbles the game away, again.

Sorry, I aint buying this steaming pile. PS wins must be factored in to any real comparison. Otherwise it's the same silly argument like "who would win in a fight, Tyson or Bruce Lee'?

junk stats dont matter in January :hand:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:49 am 
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Ok Fun Gus... At this point in their careers, which QB would you rather have running your offense, Flacco, or Ryan?

My pick would be Ryan.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:54 am 
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fun gus wrote:
but that only works if it's a small sample. I would never believe Tebow is a better QB then Ryan because he won ONE playoff game. However, if he won 4 and Ryan had 3 one and outs, then I would say HELLS YES...Sorry, I aint buying this steaming pile. PS wins must be factored in to any real comparison. Otherwise it's the same silly argument like "who would win in a fight, Tyson or Bruce Lee'?

I still think you're falling into the trap fun gus of using postseason success or lack thereof as the sole, overriding argument in comparing QBs.

If you believe Flacco > Ryan, then you're welcome to that opinion. There are plenty of people out that agree with you. But if you're basing that opinion entirely off his (or rather the Ravens) postseason success vs. the Falcons, then IMO you're being extremely short-sighted. Flacco has played in 9 playoff games, Ryan 3. Flacco has started 64 regular season games (up til this year) and Ryan 62. So for every postseason appearance either has made, they've played in a combined 11.5 regular season games.

I don't think this article proves one thing or the other. But I think when you see those graphics that indicate that Flacco has the most wins over the past 4 years of any starting QB, and then you'll hear someone like Phil Simms say, "That makes him an elite QB" you have to sort of shrug and say, "No it doesn't."

I learned a long time ago, that wins are tenuous at best way to measure QBs. They should of course be factored into things as you have to win in order to have success in this league. But too often people will look at that W-L as the sole indicator of a QB's quality.

If you're going to compare Flacco and Ryan, based off who is the better QB, then you need to compare things like arm strength, pocket mobility, accuracy, decision-making, clutch performance, etc. i.e. all the things that are involved in playing the quarterback position. You can win or lose a game because a returner takes a kick to the house at the beginning of the 4th quarter. That has nothing to do with who is the better QB. And the other problem is that people often equate clutch performance to playoff wins, which isn't really fair.

Actually look at Flacco's postseason games...

In 2008, vs. Miami in the opening round, Baltimore went on the road and beat Miami 27-9. IN that game, Flacco completed 9 of 23 passes (39%) for 135 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. He had a 59 rating. Flacco did however run for a TD in that game in the 4th quarter. In that game, Baltimore rushed for 151 yards, 2 TDs, and forced 5 Miami turnovers, including a pick six (Ed Reed). Based off that, Flacco should probably get the minimum possible credit for helping Baltimore win that game.

The next week, they played Tennessee on the road. Flacco was better, 11 for 22 (50%), 161 yards, 1 TD, 89 passer rating. Baltimore won 13-10. While the Ravens only ran for 50 yards in that game, their defense did create 3 turnovers, and it basically became a kicking duel for the last 3 quarters because after the 1st quarter, no one scored TDs.

Then you look at their loss vs. Pittsburgh the following week: 23-14. Flacco completed 13 of 30 (43%), for 141 yards, and 3 INTs, a rating of 18. One of those INTs happened to be a pick six to Polamalu at the end of the game with the Ravens trying to drive to get the win.

If you're judging solely from their compared postseason performances, there is NOTHING to suggest that Flacco in the '08 playoffs was better than Ryan in the '08 playoffs despite Baltimore winning 2 games.

Then look at the following year...

They beat NE on the road 33-14 in the 2nd round. Flacco completes 4 of 10 passes (40%) for 34 yards, and an INT. His passer rating is 10. How did they win? They ran the ball for 234 yards, 4 TDs, held the top Patriots offense to 196 total yards and forced 4 turnovers.

The next week they go to Indy and lose 20-3. Flacco played better, went 20 of 35 (57%) for 189 yards, and 2 INTs. Both those INTs came in the 4th quarter when they were already down by 3 scores and he was pressing. It's not like the defense played poorly, holding Manning & the Colts to 20 points. The offense couldn't get anything going.

Would those 2 performances > Ryan's game against the Packers? Probably not.

Now in 2010, we finally start to see Flacco play well in January. They beat the Chiefs 30-7. Flacco completes 25 of 34 (74%) for 265 yards & 2 TDs. His only turnover was a sack-strip by Tamba Hali. But we also have to remember that the Ravens D was outstanding in that game, forcing 5 Chiefs turnovers and holding KC's offense to 161 total yards. Not taking anything away from Flacco, but once again he could've probably played like shyte and they would have still won that game with that sort of defensive effort.

Then we get to the Steeler game, which the Ravens lose 31-24...

The Ravens build a good early lead, going into halftime up 21-7. Flacco played well in the first half, completing 12 of 18 passes for 82 yards and a TD. One of Baltimore's TD was a scoop and score on a fumble recovery by Cory Redding. Another one came thanks to Mendenhall fumbling deep in Steeler territory (at their own 16), and then Flacco eventually throwing for the D. And Shaun Suisham also missed a 43-yard FG as well for the Steelers. So on one hand, Flacco played well doing what you expect, but the Steelers also hurt themselves.

And then in the 2nd half, it was completely flipped on its head. Flacco went 4 of 12 for 43 yards and 1 INT, he also fumbled once as well and was sacked 4 times. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they had a punt return TD in the 4th quarter nullfied by a holding call. Now they wound up turning that into 3 points on a FG to tie the game 24-24 with 4 minutes left. But then on the ensuing drive, we have the famous Big Ben bomb to Antonio Brown for 58 yards on 3rd & 19 that put the ball at the Ravens 4 yard line. The Steelers wind up scoring to take the 31-14 lead. Flacco gets 1 more chance, winds up being sacked on 3rd down, and basically the game is over.

Certainly, you would not argue that Flacco was clutch. Across the field you had a patented clutch performance from Mr. Roethlisberger that he has become known for throughout his career, not from Flacco.

Then we come to last year's games. First up against TJ Yates and Houston in Round 2. Flacco had nice numbers in that game (14-27-176-2-0), but my recollection of that game was that Flacco's performance from the eyeball test was decidedly average. Baltimore forcing 3 TJ Yates INTs I think had a lot to do with it. By building an early lead, they basically forced Houston to throw more than they would have wanted with a rookie QB.

Now the following week vs. NE, I think we can all agree Flacco played well in that game (22-36-306-2-1), and if not for Lee Evans dropping that pass, the Ravens should have gone to the Super Bowl.

The point that's now taken me 27 minutes to get to, is that in 9 playoff games, you have really only 2 strong performances from Flacco. His best performance came in a loss. And in NONE Of the 5 wins, would you really argue that he was the impetus behind them winning the game.

So by judging a player based solely off whether his team wins or loses (whether regular season or postseason), you're not really examining that player's individual performance, you're just looking at the result of a game and making an assumption.

So the idea that Flacco > Ryan because of his postseason record is probably the worst possible argument you could possibly suggest. And I think the author of this "drivel" Bill Barnwell understands this fact perfectly, because he knows that Flacco doesn't have to work as hard to win games in Baltimore as other good QBs around the league have. Which is I think the entire reason why he invented this junk stat to illustrate that point.

And again for the record, I think Flacco is probably underrated by and large. I don't think he's better than Matt RYan, but the gap is minimal. I certainly wouldn't have made the case prior to last year's NE game that he was better. ANd of course now that you have Flacco probably playing his best football ever, you also have Matt Ryan playing at an MVP level, so again, I can't really find any reason to push Flacco over Ryan at this point.

It's interesting to me because I compared Flacco to Big Ben and Eli. Roethlisberger for years had to fight the perception that he won because of his defense and the running game. Up until a few years ago, there weren't a lot of people that put Roethlisberger in their To 5 QBs because of that belief, which was for the most part true. It really wasn't until he got that 2nd ring thanks to that clutch drive vs. Arizona before people really started to say, "Hey this guy is better than we give him credit for."

And the same for Eli after he won his 2nd Super Bowl. In 2010, people were ripping him because he threw 25 INTs, never mind the fact that like 11 of them came on dropped passes. On this very board, we had a debate about that, with myself suggesting that if his name was not Manning, he would much more greatly appreciated. And then a year later, Eli plays well and the Giants win their 2nd Super Bowl, and now people are mentioning him in the same breath as his brother, BRady, and Brees.

The reality IMO is that previously Eli was much underrated, and now he's overrated because of his team success. I think the same applies to Flacco. There are people out there that overrate him because of his team's success, but a lot of people that underrate him because their belief that his team's success is largely due to Ray Lewis and Ray Rice. The truth is that it's somewhere in the middle.

But I do agree with the premise that if you were to take an average NFL starter (let's say Matt Hasselbeck or Carson Palmer of recent history) and put them with that same supporting cast that Flacco has in Baltimore over the past 4 years, Flacco might come out better, but only by a marginal degree. Does that mena Flacco isn't a good QB? No. But I do think it means that he isn't a great QB because he doesn't have to carry his team as much as say Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brees, or Matt Ryan have had to carry theirs over the same span.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
If you're judging solely from their compared postseason performances, there is NOTHING to suggest that Flacco in the '08 playoffs was better than Ryan in the '08 playoffs despite Baltimore winning 2 games.

..., is that in 9 playoff games, you have really only 2 strong performances from Flacco. His best performance came in a loss. And in NONE Of the 5 wins, would you really argue that he was the impetus behind them winning the game.



please stop digging Pudge!

Flacco's performance in the 08 playoffs wasn't better then Ryan's? Did you, Cute Stats.com or the author of this tripe forget not only did he 'score' late in the 4th, he scored the Td that sealed the win?

I guess I must have forgotten when Ryan did that against Arizona. :roll:

The reason your spending an afternoon trying to 'splain this is because it is laughable on it's face. If it helps you sleep better, go ahead. But reality has a way of answering these ridiculous types of stat manipulations, and it usually occurs in January :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Robert, I think you are forgetting about the 4 years it took Ryan to get here..... I'm including everything, and I just think he needed that running back to help him make it to year 5.

Now he saw that he needed to be in the weight room this off season and he did. It was not Mularkey making those short long out of bound passes but I'll stay consistent that I don't give the new Coordinator all that much credit either. Ryan is
getting better and although he has more weapons he's the one that must connect.

The Julio pick was 100% for Ryan and the team needed another receiver.... Ryan is already the best Qb the Falcons have ever had. Perhaps not the most talented but who cares; he's getting the best of himself.

I think Mike Smith and Thomas D. should get a lot of credit for seeing Ryan was ready to lead the team. Over 50 passes yesterday, everything was not pretty but
it played out well.

There's been so much negativity here that we don't know a good thing when we see it..... Letting Lofton go was an obvious mistake; but keeping Sam Baker was a good move.

When it comes to playoffs this is probably the first genuine playoff team we had...
Its too bad we have the 0-3 around our necks; because we've gotten in because Coach Smith always keeps his team together. Still not convinced we'll win a playoff game due to our defense being so poor against the run. Yes Ryan needed more tools to get to the next level regardless of how that's been slammed here on
the board. That Julio trade setting us back 5 years seems pretty silly now!!

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan > Flacco
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Cyril, that has been the biggest point of contention between me and everyone else. If Mularkey was still here, Matt Ryan would be exactly what he was last year. Look at what Mularkey is doing now vs what he was doing here. In order for Matt Ryan to blossom, the offense needed to be opened up. That could have happened last year, or the year before. Ryan was every bit as capable, and he has proven that with his ability to drive his team down the field in crunch time. The problem before was that Ryan only got his opportunities on 3rd down, or when we needed him to drive us down the field. Ryan didn't need Turner for the last two years, that's just the hand he was dealt.


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