We all saw this coming, right? Joe Flacco heckled, attacked and thrown to the wolves all season long, went into Invesco Field at Mile High and defeated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Flacco, not Ray Rice, was the primary reason that Baltimore was able to put up nearly 500 yards of total offense against a defense that finished the regular season No. 2 in yards allowed. Flacco ended his day 18-of-35 for 331 yards and three touchdowns (zero interceptions, 116.2 rating).
Meanwhile, Manning turned the ball over three times including a horrible decision late in the first overtime period, which ended up being intercepted by Corey Graham. That single mistake put Baltimore in prime position to win the game when the second overtime series began. A few plays later, Justin Tucker nailed a 47-yard field goal to put Baltimore in the "W" column.
Overall, Manning completed 28-of-43 passes for 290 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (88.3 rating).
For the future Hall of Fame quarterback, it was his 11th loss in 20 career postseason games, including his fifth loss in his last seven playoff games. Now we can start to question whether he really is a big-game quarterback or not. On the other hand, Flacco had a laugh at all those skeptics, myself included, that concluded he just couldn't show up against the best the game has to offer.
I guess crow is best served cold, but for Flacco is was mighty tasty in the frozen terraine of Denver on Sunday.
He will not go up against either the New England Patriots or Houston Texans for a shot at the Super Bowl.
On another note, how about that Ray Lewis character? On the brink of suiting up for the final time, he got the Ravens' defense fired up and all ready to play. It was something to behold.