If you appreciate fictions like “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and have a similar fondness for sports, then you may want to re-direct your attention to the real-life Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco. His roller-coaster performances are soon forgotten once he sets foot on turf under the bright lights called the NFL playoffs. Since 2010, Flacco’s combined passer rating in the postseason is 105.0, which is higher than Aaron Rodgers (100.3), Drew Brees (97.8), Peyton Manning (94.8) and Tom Brady (91.5). His 7 road wins in the playoffs are two more than any other quarterback in NFL history. His performance in the 2012 superbowl run (11 touchdowns – 0 interceptions) tied an NFL record.
Most fans would quickly dismiss Flacco when comparing his regular season performance with the likes of one-day Hall of Fame legend Tom Brady. But if you study their last 14 playoff games, Flacco’s stats bully those of Brady.
“In his 14 career playoff games, Flacco is 10-4 with 21 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. During that stretch, he’s logged 13 completions of 25 yards or more. Meanwhile, over his last 14 playoff games, Brady is 7-7 with 26 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and just seven explosive plays.” – Brian Billick, NFL.com
Josh Planos from the Washington Post writes:
“The Ravens are 7-2 in playoff games that he has started since 2010, and Flacco has 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions during that time. That ability to manage and protect the ball has made Baltimore incredibly difficult to beat. After Saturday’s win, Flacco has thrown 166 consecutive postseason passes without an interception, which is the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. He also became just the third quarterback in NFL history to post a rating of more than 100 for at least five consecutive postseason games.” Josh Planos, The Washington Post
So what is it that makes Flacco so potent come playoff time? We can all agree that come hell or high water, Joe is the poster child for remaining calm, cool and collected over his entire professional career. Nothing seems to bother him and getting inside his head may proof more difficult than solving a rubik cube. But let’s look at the legendary story by Robert Louis Stevenson and see if we can find similarities.
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Joe is calm. Watching his antics and mannerisms reveal a peace of mind that is a rare commodity nowadays. That’s why you won’t hear of any troubling off-the-field issues or drama. His mind is like clockwork and regardless what seems go on around him, his clock keeps on ticking at the same pace it always has. He has proven the ability to stay his course without distractions and is determined to lead his teammates to another Superbowl title.
Joe Flacco may not be the most flashy quarterback you will ever see, but come January, he strikes fear into his opponents, not by how he acts, but by the way he doesn’t act. This clock just keeps on ticking and there is nothing you can do about it and before you know it, your time has come to face statistically one of the greatest quarterbacks in playoff history.
My prediction: Ravens 31 @ Patriots 30