Since ZipCode (rightly) calls me a curmudgeon when I dampen his enthusiasm for the kid, I may as well be a little premature here as well. With apologies to Drew Brees, no player on an undefeated team has done more to deliver wins to his team. Not Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, or Peyton Manning. Not Elvis Dumervil, Matt Ryan, Frank Gore or Peyton's brother either. None of them.
Joe Flacco is rightly the two week MVP, and at his current trajectory he is growing into the best player in the league.
Okay, I'll rain on this parade right away. No, I don't think Flacco will continue at this pace and no, I don't think he will continue to improve this rapidly. While possible, it is pretty doggone unlikely. A plateau reserved for players named things like Brady and Brees.
Even so, Flacco's performance to this point has been nothing short of remarkable. Right now, Flacco is 7th in the NFL in passer rate, tied for 2nd in TDs and 12th in passing yardage. This with an uninspiring receiving corps headlined by Derrick Mason. Flacco has completed seven passes to three players, including Kelley Washington who was last seen washing out of Cincinnati and New England, while completing another 23 passes to four others. His best receiver so far is probably Mark Clayton who is on pace for about 50 catches and 800 yards. Flacco has been so good at spreading the ball though, that there are three other receivers on the team who are also on pace for very similar numbers. This on a team who has a group of receivers who no one would confuse with other groups like Fitzgerald/Boldin, Harrison/Wayne or Johnson/Houshmanzedeh.
What's more remarkable is that Flacco is producing like this for a Raven team that has displayed uncharacteristically average defense to this point. Last year the team mostly won in spite of Flacco and because of the defense. This year (so far) it is very nearly the opposite. Put the 2008 Flacco on this team and it is looking at an 0-2 start.
With other contenders in the AFC each looking very vulnerable, and with the reasonable expectation that the Raven defense will more than hold its own, it is very reasonable to think that as of right now, September 24, Baltimore has the inside track on the 2010 Super Bowl.
and god will ZipCode and Chris be insufferable then
Thursday, September 24, 2009