First of all, if you don't think Joe Flacco is "elite" by now, you might want to double check your definition of elite. The dude has a Super Bowl ring, which is a hell of an accomplishment by itself, and has done it with an outrageous winning percentage and possibly the best playoff run in the history of quarterbacking. All in an era where quarterback play is the make or break of your team. On top of that, Joe Flacco throws further down the field more often than basically any quarterback since, oh, I dunno, the 70's or so. He's kind of a throwback to the era of Terry Bradshaw, except he makes it work in an era where teams many times throw around seventy percent of the time. That's impressive. And, I might remind you, that the Ravens defense has not been nearly so stifling as the early 2000's Baltimore defenses were.
Speaking of elite, it just seems insane to let Anquan Boldin go. I hit on that Friday,* but if you're going to have a guy who can throw deep, you probably want somebody who can go deep. And Boldin can go deep. And, maybe even more important, he has the strongest hands in football, which means he will come down with any ball he can get a grip on. Now, I understand I don't have the Raven's checkbook, but I think they ought to find a way to keep him.
*Though you didn't get to see it until yesterday.
If you have to let him walk, though, I think he ought to go back to Arizona. I don't know if he would ever consider that, I seem to remember him leaving somewhat bitter. But, it seems a lot of the personnel around Arizona has changed since he left, so maybe he would consider it. And, though it's just a hunch,* there's a chance the Cardinals could get good in a hurry. Their defense wasn't that bad last year. They just didn't have anything resembling an NFL quarterback. As discussed yesterday, they still have Larry Fitzgerald. You pair those guys again, and add Bruce Arians and Alex Smith? If I'm Arizona, I'm spending every last dime I have available to me to make this happen. If that wouldn't lead to a renaissance in the desert, I don't know what would.
*You think I have inside information? Ha!
But now, we get to lay football to rest for a little while. It's time for basketball and hockey to take over, and there is an embarrassment of riches tonight. At seven, the Pacers host the Hawks, who have given them fits over the past few years. At the same time, Purdue looks to bounce back after a tough week last week at Penn St., which should go a little better. And then, after that, the Blackhawks travel out to San Jose to take on the also two-loss Sharks. Though one of their losses was in regulation. Slackers.