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When Joe Flacco returned home from Pittsburgh in the early Monday morning hours, he decided to stay up and watch his highlights on ESPN.
He didn’t see them, didn’t see them, and ultimately lost patience and went to bed.
So when reporters asked on Wednesday if he thought his critics had gone away, the fourth-year quarterback wasn’t so sure.
“Well, I still haven’t seen our highlights, so if you’re saying people are going to start talking about us, I don’t believe that,” Flacco said. “So I’m not buying into the fact that people are going to jump on our bandwagon all of a sudden.”
He did it in Week 4 in Pittsburgh last season. He did it against Matt Ryan and the Falcons in Atlanta last year, only to see wide receiver Roddy White have the last laugh against the Ravens’ defense. He did it in Pittsburgh in last year’s divisional playoffs, but had the ball bounce off Anquan Boldin’s hands in the end zone, then off T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s on the next drive.
He’s also had his tough moments.
Flacco went more than two quarters without completing a pass against the New York Jets. He, as well as the rest of the offense, struggled mightily in Jacksonville. Flacco’s completion percentage is a career-low 54.7 percent.
Flacco said what helps him move on from both the highs and lows is that he and the Ravens simply win a lot of games.
“When you have a bad one, it’s easy to put it behind you and not listen to that stuff because you know you’re going to have a good one next week,” Flacco said. “When you have a good one, it’s easy to put it behind you because that’s what we’re supposed to do.
“It takes a lot to have to deal with those different emotions every week. I think that’s why there are only a handful of guys in this league that can play and stick around for a long time.”
Asked if he views himself as one of those guys, Flacco confirmed he did.
But when asked about the resurfaced debate of whether he should now be considered elite, Flacco literally chuckled.
“The thing that cracks me up is that one minute they’re talking about you as possibly being elite, and the next second they want to beat you up for not even being good,” Flacco said. “It’s two extremes. It’s never that he’s a damn good quarterback.”
Flacco says quarterbacks don’t get the elite tag until they win a Super Bowl – which is his first and foremost goal. That’s what Flacco is concerned with, not the weekly ups and downs that come with playing the game’s most prominent position.
“When it’s all done, Joe Flacco is going to have a big smile on his face and the pundits can determine all the things they want to,” Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said. “Here’s a guy that can play lights out and is a winner. What else is there for a quarterback?”