Everyone knows Joe Flacco is better than Tom Brady. What?! OK, that may be a tough sell. But when it comes to playing on the road in the playoffs, he may have a case. More on that shortly.
In NFL circles, a Flacco-over-Brady argument would fall apart like a newspaper hammock in a rainstorm. But a conversation worth having is whether or not Flacco will belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As things stand, it's probably unlikely. But what occurs over the next few weeks could change that.
So let's play "what if." If he plays well for the Browns in the postseason, and if Cleveland makes a run behind his leadership, he may need to be fitted for a gold jacket.
Flacco won Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens in the Harbaugh Bowl. If he were to bring a Lombardi to the Dawg Pound, it would be the first of its kind. It would also be just the third time a quarterback has won a ring starting with two different franchises, after Peyton Manning (2015) and Brady (2020).
The fact that it would be with two separate teams is compelling, but possibly unnecessarily so. Currently the only two-time, Super Bowl winning QB who is eligible for the HOF and hasn't been enshrined is Jim Plunkett; his Raiders won it all in 1980 and '83.
What voters do with Eli Manning once he becomes eligible in 2025 would be instructive for this hypothetical supposition. But there's definitely work to be done first.
Flacco will be starting his 13th career road playoff game this Saturday when the Browns face the Texans in Houston. He currently sports a 7-5 record in those contests; Brady is 7-4.
If Flacco were to break that tie by the Browns prevailing this weekend, he'd almost certainly have an opportunity to pad that number in the divisional round. The only potentiality in which the Dawgs would be at home for round two requires all three AFC wild-card teams to win. In that circumstance, the Dolphins would be the only non-AFC North team remaining, and would travel to Cleveland.
We're certainly putting the cart before the horse with all the conjecture, but with how the team and the city have galvanized around their newfound field general, the prospect of facing this squad in the playoffs should be at least a bit frightening. The scariest thing though, for the NFL as a whole is that if Flacco does produce a record-setting eighth road postseason win, Brady will have to come back out of retirement, again.