Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns… (Gail Burton / Associated…)
Joe Flacco made some pretty hefty claims during the off-season that had a lot of us chuckling to ourselves, if not rolling on the floor laughing.
In case you somehow missed it, get this -- when asked to rank himself among NFL quarterbacks, the fifth-year starter for the Baltimore Ravens stated: "I don't think I'm top five; I think I'm the best."
I'll pause for a moment for you to collect yourselves. In the meantime, remember that last season Flacco ranked 12th in total yards, tied for 13th in touchdown passes, 18th in quarterback rating and 26th in completion percentage.
Flacco finally had a chance to try to live up to his big talk against the Cincinnati Bengals on "Monday Night Football." And just when a national television audience was ready to let out a collective guffaw at the nutty quarterback and his delusions of grandeur, he delivered ... well, almost.
If he hadn't gotten totally carried away and merely called himself a top-five quarterback, Flacco would have been right, at least for the first week of the 2012 season. In leading the Ravens to a 44-14 victory over their AFC North rivals, Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns (a 34-yarder to Anquan Boldin and a 10-yarder to Dennis Pitta) for a quarterback rating of 128.4, fifth best in the NFL this week.
After opening the game with a 52-yard completion to Torrey Smith, Flacco looked completely at ease running the Ravens' new no-huddle offense until coming out midway through the fourth quarter.
So maybe Flacco still is not the best in the NFL, but he's definitely off to a great start. And if he keeps up this kind of play he and the Ravens may be the ones laughing by the end of the season.
But don't worry about us cynical football fans -- there's plenty of other targets for our cynical snickers. In Week 1 alone we had Cleveland's Brandon Weeden getting caught under a giant American flag and San Francisco's Vernon Davis clanking a goalpost dunk following a touchdown. Plus, it looks like we're in for at least another couple weeks of replacement refs.
So, really, the fun is just getting started!
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