Despite 5-3 playoff record, Ravens’ Flacco tries to sidestep blitz from critics
“I was a little caught off guard about it,” Flacco said.
The two have since talked, with Flacco saying everything’s fine between them. Flacco’s had plenty of detractors during his four years in the NFL, whether it be analysts or other players around the league. Before this season started, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said Flacco would never win a Super Bowl. ESPN commentator Skip Bayless frequently has debated Suggs on the topic.
“I’m shocked at just how people can speak about someone who is a flat-out winner,” veteran linebacker Ray Lewis said. “There’s no one side to anything. There’s no one player that makes one team great. It takes a team effort. … I’ve said from day one, when I first saw that kid throw a football, that that kid is special.”
“We understand where each other is coming from,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure there are some things he would have like to have said a little better. If you look at the whole context and hear the tone of his voice and the message he was trying to communicate, it’s a good message.”
Flacco has posted 44 wins in his first four seasons, the most wins among any NFL quarterback in that time span. Flacco is 5-3 in postseason games, having appeared in the playoffs in each of his seasons in the league.
His numbers aren’t gaudy, and his playing style isn’t flashy. Flacco threw for 3,610 yards and 20 touchdowns in the regular season. He posted an 80.9 quarterback rating — about five points lower than his career average.
But when the Ravens needed a game-winning drive at Pittsburgh in Week 9, Flacco put them on his back and marched 92 yards in 2:09, capping the drive with a 26-yard touchdown to rookie receiver Torrey Smith.
In the pass-happy NFL, Flacco’s numbers don’t strike fear into opponents. But Flacco can run the offense effectively, considering Ray Rice notched 2,068 total yards this season, the most among running backs in the NFL.
“We don’t do a ton of things to be real explosive and in the top of the league statistically,” Flacco said. “But we have the ability to be a really good offense.”
Suggs once again defended Flacco on ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday, the show on which Bayless appears. Suggs declined to rehash the Flacco defense he gave on the show, except to say that Flacco has become just another misfit along with the rest of the Ravens.
“This team as a whole, we’ve never been anybody’s favorite,” Suggs said. “I think he fits right in with us.”