Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun
September 22, 2013
There's a reason you'd never take Matt Schaub over Joe Flacco.
I'm a stats guy, always have been. If we're talking about baseball, I'll take the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout and WAR (wins above replacement player) over the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera and the Triple Crown every day of the week.
But football is a game of more complex interplay. And quarterback is a position where raw stats tell only part of the story.
Schaub has three 4,000-yard seasons in his career. Flacco has none. His completion percentage is 64.3 percent to Flacco's 60.5 percent.
And yet, which quarterback would you take?
I'm not going to use the reductionist "ring" argument. But the answer is Flacco and Sunday's game demonstrated some of the reasons.
Schaub had the Ravens on their heels early. Whether you blame it on conservative play-calling or his own timidity in the face of the Ravens' pass rush, he could not capitalize.
The Ravens have been vulnerable in the middle of the field all season. Schaub hardly attacked them there. He has serious weapons on the outside in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. But his longest completion went for 18 yards.
Flacco, meanwhile, dealt with porous line play and awful field position in the first half. Given a lead and some space to start the second half, he made the aggressive throws needed to give the Ravens a commanding advantage.