Faulk: A statement game for Flacco

Joe Flacco deserves some credit in at least one area. The guy is getting pretty good at brushing off criticism.

Flacco did it with a smirk on Wednesday, playing the disrespect card with reporters when the topic of elite quarterbacks was put on the table. There was a touch of candor involved, however, as Flacco  explained he’s overlooked when the Ravens win, and not thought of as an elite player because he’s in a run-first offense.

Maybe Flacco battles perception problems, but things could become much more transparent following Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Texans, who will be starting rookie QB T.J. Yates.

“This (game) is going to say a lot about Joe Flacco and what we say about him from here on,” Marshall Faulk said on NFL Network’s “No Huddle.”

Flacco doesn’t get a heap of praise. His comments are proof he hears the doubters. But he can improve upon his 4-3 career postseason record when he makes his first home playoff start, against a rookie QB. Whatever the Ravens ask Flacco to do — even if it’s to turn around and hand it to No. 27 — he will have to deliver.

“Joe Flacco is going to step up this game because of all the criticism he’s been taking from everyone and everyone doubting him,” Willie McGinnest said. “I think he steps up and shows everyone that he’s that quarterback he started to show his rookie year.”

The Ravens have everything to lose, because anything short of the Super Bowl will be considered a failure. If there was ever a statement game for Flacco in his young career, this would be it.

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