The next two weeks are going to be filled with plenty of storylines.
There’s the brothers Harbaugh squaring off in the Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick’s stunning rise and Ray Lewis’ farewell tour, for starters. There’s also going to be a lot of “Is Joe Flacco elite?” navel-gazing going on during the run-up to his first appearance in the NFL’s biggest game. It’s not the first time we’ve had such debates — Eli Manning was the subject of them just last year — and not the first time that people have discussed Flacco’s worth. Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said in 2011 that the Ravens would never make the Super Bowl with Flacco, a prediction that’s been proven incorrect.
Flacco’s Ravens teammates are pretty uniformly on the pro-Flacco side of the question and one of the guys the Ravens beat on Sunday is convinced as well. Patriots safety Steve Gregory told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that there wasn’t any debate.
“He is one of the elite quarterbacks,” Gregory said. “I know he gets a lot of flak for not being that type of guy, but he is.”
Mellinger’s article is a thoughtful look at the question of Flacco’s standing and leaves you with a conclusion that’s hard to argue.
Call Flacco elite or almost-elite or anything else you want because the words don’t matter all that much at this stage. What matters is that he’s taken his team to the playoffs in every season he’s played in the NFL and, now, he’s brought them to the Super Bowl. However you define it, those are the results you’re looking for from your quarterback.