Wacko For Flacco: Is Joe Flacco the Most Underrated QB in Football?

Old AccountSenior Writer IJune 1, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sideline against the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco enters his third season as the starter in Baltimore.

Since being drafted a little more than two years ago, Flacco has provided the city of Baltimore a franchise quarterback, which we had never seen up to this point.

In his rookie season, Flacco was limited to the plays he was going to make on his own. Instead, he let the rushing attack and the top defense to carry them to the AFC Championship game.

His second season was a little different, as Cam Cameron gave Flacco more opportunities.

What did Flacco do? Improve in every major category (passing yards, quarterback rating, fewer interceptions).

For the second straight year, the Ravens returned to the playoffs under Flacco. Though falling to the Colts in the second round, Joe Flacco got more experience along the way.

Now, the idea of Joe Flacco being the most underrated QB in the league comes into play.

First off, many ask how is he underrated, as they believe he is overhyped.

Overhyped? Unless I am missing something, the only thing I have heard is Flacco chokes in the playoffs, and Flacco can never be a franchise quarterback.

The biggest hatred on Flacco is him throwing the screen pass to Ray Rice.

Sorry to break the news, but through his first two seasons, Flacco didn't have any weapons.

I love Derrick Mason as a receiver, don't get me wrong, but the guy is aging. He can run the short routes, and catch the important passes near the sideline, but that's it. Mason no longer has the speed to burn any receiver, which makes it very easy to double team or put pressure on the other receivers.

Speaking of the other targets, did Flacco have any? Mark Clayton was always a non factor (except for the Steelers game on SNF). Kelly Washington was solid at times on third downs, but faded toward the end of the year.

Then, there is Todd Heap. Heap's back problems continue to be a problem, and there were only a few occasions where he was able to get to the end zone.

Overall, Flacco isn't given enough credit for his performance with this weapons thus far.

In his second year, Joe almost eclipsed the 4,000 yard mark, which is impressive.

I would go out on a limb and say most of the elite quarterbacks in this league wouldn't do as good of a job as Flacco (besides Peyton Manning and Drew Brees).

General manager Ozzie Newsome realized his quarterback needs to take the next step, and that is by adding new weapons for Flacco.

The front office did just that, by trading for Anquan Boldin, signing Donte Stallworth, and drafting 2 tight ends in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta.

Despite being labeled as not a true number one receiver, Boldin brings the physical presence that fits this offense. Before the arrival of Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin was the top receiver and a solid Pro-Bowl player.

Donte Stallworth becomes a slot type receiver along with Mark Clayton, who may be beneficial in the slot.

Dickson and Pitta are bringing a similar scheme that Cam Cameron had with the Chargers. Both will be used effectively as they soon transition into the starters of the future.

With the new weapons on his side, Flacco is ready to prove the doubters wrong.

Joe has been more vocal in camp as his teammates mentioned, and has been practicing hard with his new receivers.

Flacco's rival, Matt Ryan, has been labeled as the best in the class and has been better than Flacco.

Right now, both players stats are very similar in their young careers. While Ryan had better weapons than Joe, Flacco now gets a taste of having solid weapons.

Right now, he may be under the nation's radar, but 2010 will be the beginning of what seems to be a bright career ahead for Joe Flacco.

Matt Miselis is an NFL/Baltimore Ravens Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/MattMiselis


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