The Ravens finished the season 11-5, and Joe Flacco put up impressive numbers (2,971 yrds 14 TDs, 12 Ints , 11 fumbles, 2 lost) despite having a mediocre receiving corp. This wasn't enough for the critics, as some still believe that Joe Flacco is a bust.
They say that his success is because of that stifling defense, when it is the other way around. The defense's success is caused by the performance of this Quarterback. Take a look at the Raven's past seasons, and Quarterbacks, statistically.
In 2004, Kyle Boller was given the reigns for the full season. The Ravens have been pretty much a run first team up to this point, which takes the pressure off the QB. They had a one-two punch at running back, with Jamal Lewis putting up over 1,000 yards and Chester Taylor with over 700.
The Defense was as good as they could have been with such an inconsistent Quarterback, ranking sixth in the league in total defense. In 2004, the defense was constantly bailing out Boller. If the guy wasn't throwing interceptions, he was fumbling it; totaling 18 turnovers by his lonesome.
Boller was very fickle. In five games he would have 200+ yards, in four he would have under 100. You didn't know which guy was going to show up day to day.
In 2005, Boller had suffered an injury. He returned in week 10, and showed some promise, as he outplayed Favre on Monday Night Football. He wouldn't get the chance the next season as the Ravens brought in veteran Steve McNair.
McNair proved that the Ravens were ready for the big time, all they needed was a quarterback to not lose the game for them.
Steve McNair put up stellar numbers (3,050 yrds, 16 TDs, 12 Ints and lost only one Fumble that year). The Ravens went 13-3 due to the consistent play of Steve McNair, and the Ravens defense was able to get there rest when they needed it.
Baltimore had the number one total defense that year.
The next season McNair's age started getting to him, and he was injured a majority of the season. This led to Boller stepping back in, where he again showed that he wasn't the guy in Baltimore.
McNair retired that off-season.
In the offseason, the Ravens got a call from one of their scouts, who took a trip to Delaware because he has been hearing about this kid with a cannon for an arm. A few months later, the Ravens were calling his name in the draft, and at the open of the 2008 season he was their starter.
The Raven's will always have a good defense, no one predicts that falling off anytime soon. The running games steps up with big boy McClain, McGahee and rookie Ray Rice.
Joe Flacco had a great season for a rookie, and he has a strong arm. As long as the Coaches continue to work on his mechanics, he will become a better quarterback.
I say that because the kid is still raw.
He put up numbers close to that of Steve McNair's 2006 season, and the Ravens were the number two defense in the league. Diet Pepsi got it right when they chose him as the rookie of the year.
Joe Flacco is the answer. BELIEVE IT!