Super Bowl MVP 2013: Award Does Not Make Joe Flacco an Elite QB

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIFebruary 4, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Joe Flacco has entered into the exclusive club of quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl MVP award, but this does not make him one of the elite players at his position.

Elite QB is a term that gets frequently thrown around, and it often gets applied to players who do not deserve it. After the Baltimore Ravens’ remarkable run to a championship this season, this will be the case with Flacco. 

To be fair, if he continues to play at the same level he displayed during the playoffs, it will not be long before he can rightfully claim this label.

Flacco finished the postseason with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He came through when his team needed him, and there is absolutely nothing to criticize about his performances over the past month. 

However, one incredible playoff run that resulted in a championship is not enough in itself to qualify him as one of the best quarterbacks in football.

To be elite, Flacco must be included in the top tier of signal-callers in the NFL, and while he took a giant step toward accomplishing this goal, he is not there yet.

Looking at the top quarterbacks in the NFL reveals three ways to become an elite quarterback. The first path is to take the route that Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers took. 

All three of these players put up ridiculous numbers for a prolonged period of time in addition to winning a single Super Bowl.

Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning paved another path. While neither passer has numbers as impressive as the previously mentioned players, both came through in crunch time and led their teams to multiple championships. 

The third way to become an elite quarterback is the hardest, and only Tom Brady blazed this trail. He put up insane statistics while also winning multiple titles.

Flacco has not consistently delivered statistically impressive seasons and he has not won multiple championships.

He has never surpassed 4,000 passing yards or 25 touchdowns in a season. In addition, he has ranked in the top 10 in passer rating just once during his five-year career.

For the Ravens signal-caller to make the leap and join the elite NFL quarterbacks, he will either have to put up Pro Bowl numbers for the next few seasons or lead the Baltimore Ravens to another title.

With his impressive 9-4 record as a starter in the postseason and the Ravens added emphasis on the passing attack, both of these scenarios are entirely possible.

While Flacco has put himself in position to become an elite quarterback, he still has work to do.