Ray Lewis dubs Joe Flacco Ravens’ new “General”
While many had touted Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos as the winning part in this duel, Joe Flacco outperformed the 12-timre pro bowler, completing 18 of 34 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns (to boast a quarterback rating of 116.2). Meanwhile, Peyton Manning was picked twice and fumbled twice, losing one. Joe Flacco’s spectacular performance was worthy of the huge stage it was being held on as he fueled the Baltimore Ravens’ offense to a 38-35 double-overtime win over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.
"I don't know if I'm amazed, but it was pretty incredible," Flacco said after beating the top -seeded Denver Broncos. "We overcame some things. We fought to the very end."
The 27-year-old Joe Flacco found his target on accurate, crisp spirals for scoring opportunities on 59, 32 and 70 yards throws. The highlight of Joe Flacco’s game: a highly elevated projection, which soared over two defenders and was caught by receiver Jacoby Jones at the Denver Bronco’s 20-yard line, heaved the game into overtime.
"Joe has a cannon. That's why we call him, 'Smokin' Joe,’” quipped in Jacoby Jones.
Joe Flacco’s sharp performance elevated the Baltimore Ravens’ running game as the offense seemed in perfect harmony from every aspect. In turn, the Baltimore Ravens were able to bounce back from a four game loss in the final five games of the regular season while Joe Flacco exacted revenge on the 34-17 Week 15 loss, when he threw an interception that was returned 98 yards for a touchdown and lost a fumble setting the Broncos up for a field goal. But Joe Flacco hasn’t turned the ball over since the Baltimore Ravens’ first matchup with the Denver Broncos this season.
"Our offense goes through Joe," said Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 131 yards on 30 carries and scored one touchdown. "So when Joe plays at a high level like that, it makes everything a lot smoother.”
“The way Joe was throwing the ball set up the running game in the second half,” added the Pro Bowler Ray Rice. “We were able to churn up yards in the running game because of the way Joe was on point."
After Saturday’s win, the five-year veteran Joe Flacco moves up to his second consecutive AFC championship game (third career AFC title game) and also inks his name as the first NFL quarterback to make five consecutive playoffs run. Such remarkable achievements are bound to propel Joe Flacco’s game to a higher level and earn him tremendous respect in the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room.
"He grew up today," said Ray Lewis. "I told him, 'You're the General, lead us to victory, you lead us today.' I'm just here to facilitate things, just lead us.”
To look in his eyes, he had something different about him today and I just wanted to encourage him… (And) to watch what he did today was probably one of the greatest things I'll sit back and remember."