“Best quarterback in football.”
That’s what John Harbaugh said about Joe Flacco and he’s sticking to it. “I said it. I meant it,” the Baltimore Ravens head coach said according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “What more is there to say about it? You want me to explain it? You guys make your opinions, I’ll have my opinion. I’m entitled to my opinion.”
You tell ’em coach.
As insane as that statement may have been a season or two ago, a convincing postseason win in Pittsburgh may have changed a few people’s minds about Flacco. There’s even been some Hall of Fame discussion here in Charm City.
And hey, why not? January Joe has been one of the most clutch postseason quarterbacks in NFL history. Flacco’s ten playoff road wins are twice the total of any QB since 2008. He has seven postseason road victories, which is two more than any quarterback in the history of the league. And oh yeah, don’t forget about that super awesome interception-less streak. 13 touchdowns, zero INTs in his last five playoff games.
January 10, 2010 – Ravens 33, Patriots 14
OK, Flacco didn't do much of anything in his first postseason matchup with Brady. But he didn't have to. While Flacco managed just four completions for 34 yards, the Ravens rolled to a 33-14 win in the 2009 wild-card round, thanks to 234 rushing yards and four Brady turnovers (including three in the first quarter).
January 22, 2011 – Patriots 23, Ravens 20
In Round 2, the 2011 AFC Championship Game, both quarterbacks completed 22 of 36 passes. And although Flacco notched more yards (306 to 239), more TD passes (two to zero) and less interceptions (one to two), Brady came away with a 23-20 win. Though you'll recall that Flacco, with under two minutes to play, took the Ravens from their own 21-yard line to the Patriots' 14 in nine plays, only to see Billy Cundiff miss a 32-yard field goal attempt that would have sent the game into overtime.
January 20, 2014 – Ravens 28, Patriots 13
One year later, the Ravens exacted their revenge with a 28-13 win in an AFC title game rematch. The game was fairly even statistically, with both teams rushing for more than 100 yards and converting on just under 50 percent of their third downs. The biggest difference: The Ravens converted all four of their red-zone opportunities into touchdowns, while the Patriots went 1-for-4. Oh, and Flacco had three touchdowns against zero interceptions, while Brady recorded one TD and two picks.