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Joe Flacco finally gets some respect

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has taken a lot of slings and arrows for a productive young player with a lot of success in the league. 

Folks snickered when they heard Flacco reportedly wanted top-five quarterback money. When Flacco complained that the Ravens didn't pass the ball enough, Baltimore fans thought the opposite. Heck, even Ed Reed questioned Flacco during Baltimore's playoff run last year.

“I’m sure if we win I’ll have nothing to do with why we won, according to you guys," Flacco told the media before the playoffs last season.

Well, we've found one sub-section of people that is ready to give the NFL's Rodney Dangerfield a little respect: His fellow players. They ranked Flacco No. 74 in NFL Network's "Top 100: Players of 2012." That's a healthy 16-spot jump from his 2010 rank. Only 10 quarterbacks finished in front of Flacco.

Now's the part where we tell you why the ranking doesn't make a lot of sense. (Our anonymous NFL player agrees.) Flacco is ranked ahead of Tony Romo (No. 91). You can't judge a quarterback just on playoff wins, and Romo is the superior player. Flacco is also coming off his worst statistical season. His completion percentage and yards-per-attempt hit career lows in 2011.

With that said, we have to give Flacco credit for playing his best in the biggest moments. His comeback against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a thing of beauty. His performance against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game was Super Bowl-caliber.

Flacco may be ranked a little high, but he deserves to be on this list. Your long-desired respect is starting to arrive, Joe.

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