The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston expressed this thought on Twitter during Andy Dalton's annual playoff meltdown:
"Dalton, Flacco, Stafford_ they are all the same quarterback in different uniforms."
I agree that Dalton, Joe Flacco and Matthew Stafford are all inconsistent quarterbacks. But Flacco doesn't belong in this group. Everyone can agree that Flacco doesn't deserve to be ranked alongside Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. By the same token, he shouldn't be lumped in with Dalton.
The difference is Flacco has excelled in the playoffs and Dalton combusts in them. You could make the case solely on last season's playoff run, when Flacco threw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions on his way to earning the Super Bowl MVP award.
But Flacco's success goes back farther than that. In 2010, Flacco threw for 265 yards with two touchdown and no interceptions in a wild-card win at Kansas City. In 2011, he threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC Championship Game in New England, where he was one failed catch away from going to the Super Bowl.
Simply put, Flacco is 9-4 in the playoffs and Dalton fell to 0-3 after Sunday's wild-card loss to the San Diego Chargers. Dalton has played a major role in the Bengals' postseason demise with one touchdown, six interceptions and one fumble lost. There really is no comparison when it comes to the playoffs, which often defines NFL quarterbacks.
Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
John Eisenberg, of the team's website, believes the Ravens should start preparing for a new offensive coordinator. Jim Caldwell is in the running for the head coaching jobs with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, and he could become a candidate for Penn State. "In any case, my thought all along, from the moment he replaced Cameron, was that Caldwell was a short-timer in the OC role, destined to eventually get back to whispering in some quarterback’s ear or running a team somewhere – probably the latter, given his estimable reputation," Eisenberg wrote.
Speaking of Caldwell, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is the favorite to land the Lions' job but Caldwell hasn't been ruled out there. The Redskins confirmed on Twitter that Caldwell interviewed for their vacancy.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith isn't thinking about a contract extension. He will be a free agent after the 2014 season. “That’s the furthest thing from my mind," Smith told the team's website. "Guys get caught up in that stuff, but I’m not really the guy to get caught up in things that I can’t control. I signed a four-year deal, so for me to be like, ‘Hey, they could extend me.’ Why would I even think about something that I can’t control? We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Clifton Brown, of Comcast SportsNet, thinks it is absurd to blame the running game issues on Wilbert Montgomery, the running backs coach who parted ways with the Ravens on Friday. "But during his Tuesday press conference, [coach John] Harbaugh gave an eye-raising response when asked why [Ray] Rice was benched for a long stretch during the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals," Brown wrote. "There may have been a breakdown in communication between Harbaugh and Montgomery, but Harbaugh made it clear he thought Rice should have played more."