Joe Flacco has played better than anyone during the playoffs. No quarterback has a higher passer rating than the Raven's starting quarterback. He has thrown for 853 yards and eight touchdowns in route to sending Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on an early vacation.
His best stat of all: 0 interceptions.
Phil Simms, Troy Aikman, Drew Brees, Steve Young and Joe Montana are the only other quarterbacks in NFL history to throw at least eight touchdowns and 0 interceptions in a single postseason. If you are a San Francisco fan I'd be scared, because all five of those quarterbacks won the Super Bowl that year.
He outplayed Manning and Brady in their own backyards. Tom Brady never lost a home game in his entire career when leading at halftime, until last Sunday. Manning and Brady have combined for 20 Pro Bowls, six-regular season MVP's and three-Super Bowl MVP's during their careers. No quarterback had ever beat Manning and Brady in the same postseason, until Flacco did this year.
Two weeks ago when Baltimore beat Denver in double OT to advance to the AFC Championship, Flacco had one of his best games of his career. He threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Manning threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but he had two crucial interceptions that proved to be the difference.
It was the first loss for Denver since early October and only the second time they lost at home all season.
The win earned a date with the top-seeded New England Patriots for the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVII. The Patriots were 5-1 in AFC Championship games under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They were a perfect 3-0 at home.
The Patriots were up 13-7 at halftime and everyone figured New England had a good chance at making their eighth Super Bowl in franchise history because Tom Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.
Joe Flacco was struggling in the first half throwing for under 100 yards. When the Ravens needed their quarterback to step up in the second half, he did. He threw for 157 yards and all three of his touchdowns came in the final 30 minutes to lead Baltimore to the Super Bowl.
Flacco led four touchdown drives of at least 87 yards on Sunday, New England only allowed three all season. He became the fifth quarterback to throw at least three touchdown passes against the Patriots in a playoff game.
Joe Flacco threw for 571 yards and six touchdowns compared to Brady and Manning who threw for a combined 610 yards and four touchdowns. The biggest difference was Flacco had 0 interceptions, while Manning and Brady each had two apiece.
Before the season everyone said Flacco was crazy for saying he felt he was the best quarterback in the NFL. He isn't the best quarterback, but he has backed up everything he believed before the season. He has proven to be a top ten quarterback in the NFL. He has made the playoffs every year since being selected 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.
He is the only quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons.
No quarterback has more road wins in the playoffs.
His 54 regular season wins are the most in NFL history for a quarterback during their first five seasons.
Joe Flacco might not have the sexy stats that Brady, Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees put up yearly, but there is only one stat that matters: wins & losses.
He has gone 54-26 in his first five seasons and has a 8-4 playoff record. Six of those eight wins have come on the road.
Before the 2012 season Flacco wanted to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and with his impressive playoff performance he has earned it. Flacco is one of the top ten quarterbacks in the game and is one win away from getting Ray Lewis his second Super Bowl ring. Lewis announced he was retiring right before the playoffs and his last ride would not have lasted this long if it wasn't for his quarterback: