Since Joe Flacco came into the league in 2008, he has always been about one thing and one thing only; winning.
Although never a statistical juggernaut (Flacco has yet to eclipse 26 passings TDs in a season), the Baltimore Ravens QB goes about his work quietly and with an efficience that no other quarterback has achieved before. He has racked up 44 wins since the Ravens drafted him 18th overall, the most ever
by a QB in his first four seasons. However, Flacco's performances in the postseason seem to outweigh his regular season dominance. The Ravens reached the AFC championship twice in the last four years, but lost in both contests. And the defense is not getting any younger, with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed eyeing the Hall of Fame (and a Miami nursing home).
But, Flacco does not like to look back at his simply above-average stats and his fall-flat performances in the playoffs the last four years. According to Joe, he's the best in the league. "I mean, I think I'm the best," he told SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best." These powerful and ambitious words go against the grain of Flacco's stoic, statuesque personalty, possibly as internal motivators for playoff success. Unfortunately, it adds to the sentiment that he is, most likely, the Ravens most overrated player.
Overrated- QB Joe Flacco
This is not an indictment on Flacco. Everyone knows what a quality quarterback he is and the potential he possesses. He just simply has not lived up to the hype. With an upper-echelon defense in his support, and the added talent of Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and pass-protector Vonta Leach, Flacco seemed to have all the tools necessary to be in the elite group of QBs. But, after posting 20 TDs and 12 INTs in 2011, questions arose in his competitiveness and ability to run the Ravens offense.
The Baltimore Ravens have a stacked roster. There is hardly a guy on the entire depth chart that does not contribute positively in some way to John Harbaugh's team. The Ravens are in a great, grinding AFC North division, and consistently find their way into the postseason. Flacco overall is an extremely capable QB and most likely in the top-10 of the league, but looking at this team under the microscope can reveal him to be the problem they have winning in the playoffs.
Underrated- DT Haloti Ngata
How can a guy who was drafted in the first round and made the Pro Bowl three times in his first six years be underrated? Well, it's only natural for the soft-spoken Ngata. To say he anchors the middle of the field for the entire defense is an understatement. The guy is massive (6'4'', 330 pounds) and a freak athlete. He sheds blockers with ease and quarterbacks often find themselves fleeing for their lives outside of the pocket because this wrecking ball is careening down field after them.
The Ravens defense have quite the number of dynamic players. Obvious names such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs always come first to Ngata. But he lets his play remind everyone who the real star is; he's only missed 2 games in his entire career. Without Ngata's run-clogging frame, and his E. Honda athletic prowess, the Ravens defense would lack the prototypical punch its maintained over the passed decade.