Joe Flacco has played five full seasons in the NFL, and in each one, he has thrown for less than 4,000 yards and completed less than 64 percent of his throws. He has never been sacked fewer than 30 times, and he has never thrown more than 25 touchdowns. Flacco turns 28 tomorrow. He'll be a free agent once the season ends, and we've seen enough of him to know that he'll never be "the best," like he said he was, or an "elite," "top-five guy," like his agent said he was. However he finishes these playoffs, and wherever he plays next year, he will remain Joe Flacco, big-armed oaf.
But it's Flacco who's the only quarterback left standing from the wild card round. Matt Schaub, reliable veteran; Russell Wilson, superlative rookie; and Aaron Rodgers, elite champion, have all packed it in. Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning, two generations' ideal quarterbacks, both exited while Flacco prevailed. He has the playoffs' best passer rating. So he must be doing something right.