Joe Flacco isn't perfect, but he might be good enough for Ravens
So Joe Flacco isn't up to Ed Reed's standards? Wonder what the Baltimore safety would have said about Trent Dilfer when he was the Ravens' quarterback instead of Flacco.
Dilfer played in 11 games and started eight for the Ravens back in 2000, two seasons before Reed joined the team. He barely threw for more touchdowns (12) than interceptions (11) and had a quarterback rating of 76.6. In the playoffs, he improved to three touchdowns and only one interception but never had more than one touchdown a game and never broke 200 yards passing.
The Ravens won the Super Bowl that year. The defense was the driving force behind that team, but Dilfer often is praised for his performance during the championship run.
They are now one win away from returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since that championship, and statistically they have a better quarterback. Flacco started all 16 games during the regular season, throwing for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 80.9 (18th in the NFL). He has won at least one playoff game in all four of his pro seasons.
He's no Tom Brady -- the star quarterback of the New England Patriots, the Ravens' AFC Championship opponents -- but Flacco usually gets the job done. Still, Reed was critical of Flacco's performance (two touchdowns, no interceptions, 176 yards) in Baltimore's 20-13 divisional playoff victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
"I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit," Reed said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. "[The Texans] had a lot of guys in the box on him. And, I mean, they were getting to him.
"I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball. It just didn't look like he had a hold on the offense."
Reed also criticized Flacco on a specific play in which the quarterback threw into coverage with an open receiver elsewhere on the field. "He can't play like that," Reed said.
Flacco told the media Wednesday that he was not bothered by Reed's comments. "It was a little funny to me," he said. "I was a little caught off guard. But it is what it is, and it's not a big deal."
After all, Flacco has more important things to worry about. Like trying to lead the Ravens back into the Super Bowl.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, left, attempts to escape Houston defensive tackle Tim Bulman. Credit: Gail Burton / Associated Press