Flacco among most overrated players in the AFC
It's ESPN vs ESPN in the most overrated AFC players. Flacco is listed first in that list by KC Joyner but of course Jamison Hensley stands up to defend him as not overrated but rather inconsistent. I say in this case they are one in the same. If you're hyped up to be the best by your own admission and the media talks about you like you're some sort of god, then being inconsistent every single year makes you overrated.
Jermaine Gresham of the Bengals and Joe Haden of the Browns are also on that list. To read the rest you have to subscribe to ESPN.
That he isn't the best field general in the league comes as no surprise, but Flacco's 2011 season doesn't even place him in the upper half of the league. His 9.6 vertical yards per attempt mark (VYPA -- which measures success on passes 11-plus yards downfield) ranked tied for 25th, and his 10.7 stretch vertical YPA (SVYPA -- passes over 20 yards downfield) ranked 26th. To get an idea of just how bad those totals were, they each ranked dead last or tied for last in the AFC North.
Here's what Joyner had to say about Gresham:
Gresham certainly showed some potential at times last year, but the blunt truth is that his numbers fell quite short of the Pro Bowl nomination he was given. The 4.7 short pass YPA was tied for the fourth-lowest total among tight ends in that category, and the 8.7 medium YPA ranked 30th. Gresham was tied for 12th in the deep pass YPA metric, but didn't have a single bomb pass thrown his way all season.I can certainly see why Gresham would be viewed as overrated. He led AFC North tight ends in receptions (56) and touchdown catches (six) last season, but they weren't numbers usually associated with a Pro Bowl season. Instead of calling him overrated, I would say he was underused. Gresham should be catching between 70 and 80 passes, a goal that could be reached in an offense lacking an established No. 2 wide receiver.
This is Joyner's explanation of why Haden is overrated:
Haden was a shutdown cornerback in 2010, as his 6.2 overall YPA that season ranked tied for 18th-best in that metric. His 2011 campaign was another matter entirely, as Haden ranked 51st in overall YPA (8.0), 59th in VYPA (11.0) and 65th in SVYPA (14.4). This wasn't a matter of a low target volume skewing the numbers, either, as Haden's 77 targets last year ranked tied for the 23rd-highest total among cornerbacks in that metric.I still believe Haden is the most talented cornerback in the division, even though these statistics suggest otherwise. While he has to intercept more passes, it's impressive that he broke up 37 passes in his first two seasons. He also held his own against some of the best receivers in the NFL, from Larry Fitzgerald to Brandon Marshall.