(The following is the third and final part of a series.)
Hey, nice job on my part calling for Hoyer just before Homestead Charlie comes out of the game looking like he could get elected mayor! What’s next, telling the Stillers to build a time machine so they can travel back to ’04 and un-draft Big Ben?
Anyway, I’ll take it: the Stillers score a big win in Baltimore, setting up now for the big 4-game stretch I’ve mentioned before. I’d been waiting weeks for Flacco to be outed as a true – if I may coin a term— a true mediocre-sexual, but, first a kick return takes the heat off him in Pittsburgh, then Rice bails him out in San Diego. Then last Sunday, the STILLERS almost write the Mediocre Man a free pass.
First Batch responds to a WIDE-open Wallace by throwing the ball a good 15 feet over his head, and flushing a sure TD down the toilet. Then Sanders decides he’ll drop the ball on the way to the end zone – a play that resulted in a 14-point swing, as not only did he erase a Stillers TD, he gave the ball to Baltimore, who then scored themselves.
With goofs like these, the Stillers probably should’ve lost. But thankfully, the Ravens have Average Joe Flacco. Doing his best orange-traffic-cone imitation, Joe contributed a 16-for-34, 188-yard yawner of a passing day, with a dull 61.9 rating. It was vintage Flacco.
This time there were no kick returns to bail him out, no fluke 4th-down conversions. This time the Ravens lost, and Flacco had nowhere to hide.
But on-the-field isn’t the only place where Flacco showed himself to be less than franchise. His post-game comments were just as lame: “Everybody wants to act like the world's coming down on us when we've lost one game… We're 9-3. We're not 3-9.”
Got that? Yep, no problem, we just lost to Charlie Freakin’ Batch, my stats stunk again, but no biggie, we’re still on top o’ the world!
Now, think back to how Roethlisberger acts, and what he says, after a loss. Or Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers, or either of the Manning Brothers – in other words, the guys who actually get mentioned as franchise QBs. Or even the rookie Luck, a probable future franchise type, who apologizes what he did wrong even when the team wins.
If I were a Ravens fan, I’d be raising my eyebrows at Flacco’s attitude. But I’m not – and I couldn’t be happier. You tell ‘em, Joe, and while you’re at it, sign that extension as soon as possible! We want to keep you in that Ravens uniform for years to come.
Now, then, no disrespect to Batch, who put in a gutsy performance, but contrary to public opinion, he’s not the reason the Stillers won. No, that distinction belongs to Coach John “The Mentally Tough Team Won Today” Harbaugh, who inexplicably decided to take the game out of Ray Rice’s hands, and put it into Flacco’s. Why, I have no idea – Rice was ripping it up at a big fat 6.5 yards-per-pop, and when he scored his second-half TD, it appeared the game might be wrapped up then. But then stupidity struck.
Rice recorded exactly zero touches in the 4th quarter, as if Baltimore wanted to make some point about Flacco. What, John, you wanted to show us he’s “elite,” so Suggs can go back on ESPN and brag up his boy again? Had Rice continued to run the ball, I doubt the Stillers win this one. Instead, the Ravens appear to have lost their grip on the second playoff seed, and the handy bye week.
As for Average Joe, the world may finally be catching on. Today the Washington Postran an article titled “Joe Flacco and Ravens keep winning, but is he the reason?” It should be nominated for the 2012 “most obvious answer” award. Maybe the writer actually did so, considering this passage:
“Premier quarterbacks in this league don’t have the abysmal road performances Flacco has had this season, including a bang-up 55.6 QB rating at Kansas City. They don’t lose at home to Steelers’ last-ditch quarterback Charlie Batch, who last started in the NFL in, like, 1947. They don’t, on fourth and 29 with the game on the line, check down a dump-off pass to Rice, who saved Flacco from professional incineration by somehow getting 30 yards in the greatest play of this regular season...”
Yes, the fraud that is Flacco has finally been exposed, and it only took ‘em, oh, about a couple or three years to do it! Even ESPN chipped in this week, asking on their web site: “One loss? Or is Joe Flacco flawed?” Good job, mainstream sports media, you’re on top of the game as usual.
Anyway, it’s December, the real race is beginning, the Stillers D is starting to look like its old stingy self, and Joe Flacco has run out of players to hide behind.
It’s beginning to look a lot like… playoffs.