Baltimore Ravens - Joe Flacco

For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Baltimore Ravens are headed to the postseason. We kind of take that success for granted — at least, I know I do. Sure, the Ravens’ path to the playoffs wasn’t quite as easy as we thought it might be three weeks ago, but they made it nonetheless.

Despite a tough performance in an ugly loss to the Houston Texans, Joe Flacco ended up putting together the best regular season of his career. Flacco finishes the year with his highest single season passing yard total (3,986), most touchdowns (27) and highest completion percentage since 2010 (62 percent).

And perhaps most importantly, as Jamison Hensley of points out, when the Ravens trailed 10-3 against the Browns after three quarters of play on Sunday, Flacco stepped up to lead his team to victory.

Flacco flourishes in fourth quarter: After three poor quarters, quarterback Joe Flacco carried the Ravens into the playoffs with a scintillating finish. In the fourth quarter, he completed 8 of 9 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating in the fourth quarter was a perfect 158.3. Flacco set a career high with 27 touchdowns this season and fell 14 yards short of his first 4,000-yard season.

We found out after the game that Flacco’s stellar performance on the field came after an impassioned halftime speech. Here’s how Torrey Smith described it according to

“Y’all act like Joe is the most boring guy in the world, man” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “He has some fire to him. You can’t expect anything long from Joe, but the delivery was powerful.”

It’s easy to criticize the guy who signed the $120.6 million contract, but where would the Ravens be without Flacco?

This weekend, Flacco will make NFL history when he becomes the first QB to start a playoff game in six of his first seven seasons.