Do you have faith in Joe Flacco in the clutch?

November 04, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Thirteen months ago, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco screamed at the top of his lungs and raised his right arm high into the Pittsburgh sky after throwing an 18-yard touchdown to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The play punctuated a 17-14 win over the Steelers at Heinz Field, a memory that might be the brightest of his four years in the NFL.

"I think there are going to be a lot of defining moments for Joe, but this is going to be one of them," coach John Harbaugh had said. "This is going to be one that all the Ravens fans are going to remember for a long time."

It did look like it was a defining moment for Flacco. He had just picked up his first career win in Pittsburgh (it didn’t matter to him that Ben Roethlisberger was suspended) and did it by going 4-for-4 for 40 yards on the last-minute touchdown drive. But he hasn’t been able to make that kind of magic on a consistent basis since.

Take last week for example. In the Monday night loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Flacco had a chance to clean up a messy offensive performance with a game-saving touchdown drive, but his interception sealed the 12-7 loss for the Ravens. Six days later, Flacco made the one throw he needed to make -- his 36-yard completion down the right sideline to Torrey Smith was sweet -- to set up Billy Cundiff for a short game-winning field goal.

No quarterback is going to get it done in the clutch every time, even the elite guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Roethlisberger. Maybe Aaron Rodgers can do it, but I’m like 99 percent convinced that dude is a cyborg.

You know (unfortunately) the feeling you get in your stomach when one of those players has the ball in his big mitts in the final minute with the game on the line. Flacco doesn’t induce that kind of fear, at least not yet.

But if Sunday night's game against the Steelers comes down to a last-minute drive, do you have faith in him?

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