MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE
1. The eye test says Joe Flacco is not an elite quarterback but all the guy does is produce as he’s moving into elite company. How much money has Joe Flacco, an impending free agent, made himself with a deep a playoff run? Agents say in the range of $40-$60 million.
Many felt prior to the post-season, Flacco was in line for for a six to seven year deal in the range of $60-$75 million. The contract he will sign this off-season will be for significantly more.
Talk in NFL circles is agent Joe Linta is fully prepared to go into contract talks with the Baltimore Ravens seeking $20 million per season over six to seven years. He is seeking elite quarterback money and the belief is Flacco will land a six-seven year deal in the $105-$117 million range. Sounds crazy but it’s going to happen.
2. While I know people will have a tough time calling Joe Flacco elite but there’s no denying that he’s clutch. Steelers fans should know this first hand. Just look at Flacco leading Baltimore to last second come from behind wins in Pittsburgh in 2010 and 2011. Here’s some clutch numbers. Flacco has 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in his last seven post-season games. That’s getting it done.
3. The Baltimore Ravens were the 17th ranked defense in the NFL, while the Pittsburgh Steelers were the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL. What are two big differences between the two teams: The Ravens are an opportunistic defense that creates big plays and the Steelers weren’t the past two seasons. That’s the type of defense you need in today’s NFL, not one that ranks first in yardage. The Atlanta Falcons who made it to the NFC Title game, were the 24th ranked defense in the NFL but had 31 takeaway’s. Pittsburgh had just 20.
4. The last time the New England Patriots won a Super Bowl was the 2004 season. With 2 Super Bowl losses and now one AFC Championship game home loss since the 2004 season, has the reputation of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era taken a hit? To an extent, yes, as they have underachieved since the 2005 season but this book isn’t finished yet.
5. The Penguins drew a 19.4 rating for their opening game with the Philadelphia Flyers, just showing how big of a hockey market Pittsburgh is and people shouldn’t be surprised. It’s been evident for three to four years now how big of a hockey market this is, especially in the 18-34 year old range. The Penguins surpassing the Steelers is a dumb argument as that will never happen but if you break down the demographics, the Penguins are right there when it comes to enthusiasm for 18-34 year olds. The Penguins fan base in that age group is huge.