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Joe Flacco : Playoff Choker or Clutch Performer?

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DENVER – It there was ever any doubt about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his questionable boast about “being the best” he certainly backed up his words with a resounding statement in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Flacco, who would make the brash comments on WNST 1570 in Baltimore in April, took a major step towards being mentioned among the top-tier quarterbacks of the game in leading the Ravens to an improbable 38-35 double overtime victory over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

The fifth-year veteran would go 18-of-34 for 331 yards and throw three touchdowns, with the third one coming on a 70-yard heave to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left in regulation.

Unless your name is Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger or Drew Brees, not many opposing quarterbacks outplay—who many consider the greatest quarterback of his generation—in Manning in the post-season, and even fewer win in the thin air of Mile High.

With Flacco’s latest post-season win, his fifth in his career, is it time to consider the former Fighting Blue Hen standout a clutch performer or a choker?

While it will remain debatable as to whether or not Flacco is an elite quarterback that can lead a team to a title on his own without the luxury of a Ray Lewis-led defense, Flacco’s post-season success speaks for itself, or does it?

While Flacco is the first quarterback in NFL history to ever win a playoff game in his first five starts, Flacco has also shown a tendency to not quite get over the “mental hump” and close the deal.

In his career, Flacco is 0-2 against the hated Steelers, 0-1 against the even-more hated Colts, and if not for a dropped pass by Lee Evans against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game last year, the conversation of Flacco being an elite NFL quarterback would be very different.

As it stands, Flacco is at best straddling the fence of greatness and mediocrity.

For a man so physically gifted at 6’6, 245 pounds and a rocket arm, due to his occasional bouts of inconsistency, Flacco is often considered a bit of an enigma at best.

Whether Evans catches that game-winning pass in Foxborough or Rahim Moore doesn’t lose Jones in pass coverage, there still seems to be a sense of doubt in many fans not being sold on Flacco as a top-tier quarterback.

With his latest playoff victory in the books and another shot at his personal nemesis in the AFC Championship Game, Flacco gets another chance to back up his words.

Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at robcobb@theinscriber.comand follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber



Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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