Is Joe Flacco elite? It is a question that constantly gets thrown around and there really is no definitive answer. This question is probably going to be the reason that anyone will ever remember Flacco. This question may seem a little irrelevant at this time, considering the Super Bowl is coming in two weeks, but I am going to put a little twist on the question. Is Matt Ryan elite?
The 31-year old quarterback has shown his worth, helping his Atlanta Falcons get to Super Bowl LI, but can he be put into the same category as quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers?
This season, Ryan was second in total passing yards, only behind Brees, and he was also second for passing touchdowns, just two behind Rodgers. He had the highest QB rating in the entire league with 132.6.
Not only was he one of the best statistically, but he also led the Falcons to an 11-5 season which won them the NFC South. Winning the division is great, but it is in the playoffs where true greatness comes through.
In the Falcons first playoff game this year, they beat the Seattle Seahawks in dominant fashion led by Ryan. In their game this past weekend against the Green Bay Packers, they were almost considered underdogs even though they had the better record. Nevertheless, they dismantled the Green Bay Packers by 23 points to move on to the Super Bowl.
Ryan has a history of having great regular seasons and then losing early in the playoffs. This will be his first Super Bowl and whether or not he wins will have a big impact on how people view the legacy that he is leaving. Every quarterback that is considered elite has led his team to at least one Super Bowl title and Ryan has a great chance to do so this year.
As of right now, I would say that he is an elite quarterback, even without the Super Bowl title. If he does not perform and the Falcons lose, that could change my view on him, but as of right now he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He was even recognized as the NFL Most Valuable Player by the Pro Football Writers Association.
Even with a Super Bowl, Joe Flacco was never able to be considered an elite quarterback by all. We will have to wait and see if Matt Ryan will be able to get somewhere that Flacco has never been after next Sunday.