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Broncos' Wade Phillips thinks Joe Flacco is plenty elite

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There has been epic amounts of oxygen expended in the opinion universe on whether Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is elite.

Three days out from the regular-season opener against the Ravens, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips weighed in on the matter. Granted, few defensive coordinators would publicly drop heavy criticism on the quarterback his team was about to face, but Phillips still went above and beyond in his praise of Flacco.

“Somebody asked me whether he was elite or not,’’ Phillips said following Broncos practice Thursday. “Well, the guy was the MVP of the Super Bowl, he’s won seven playoff games on the road, he set the all-time record with 11 touchdowns, no interceptions in the playoffs, so I would say, yes, he’s an elite quarterback.

“He’s a great player under pressure, you can pressure, you can lay off or whatever, he’s a great player,’’ Phillips continued. “ … That’s why they’ve been there, they’ve got a great quarterback and a great run game.’’

In five career meetings with the Broncos, including the Ravens’ double-overtime win in the Divisional round to close out the 2012 season, Flacco has thrown eight touchdown passes to go with three interceptions.

He has two 300-yard games against the Broncos -- a 62-attempt game when he finished with 362 yards in the ’12 season opener when Peyton Manning threw for seven touchdown passes to go with 331 yards and three touchdowns in the playoff win.