Maybe there is a reason that Ray Lewis handed the title “The General” to Joe Flacco. Ray knew that there is something special with Flacco, something that many did not see. I was one of those fans that doubted Flacco at times. Throughout his career, Flacco showed that he just couldn’t finish the job. Four years with great teams, yet no Super Bowl appearance. His time was running short and his future was in serious jeopardy.
“The General” came through. Not the old General, but Baltimore’s NEW general.
This postseason, arguably changing his career, Joe Flacco is verifying that his self-assessment of “elite” is not too far-fetched. He isn’t Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but he is a big-time franchise QB.
In an article written by yours truly late in December, I labeled Flacco “an average QB who will never win a Super Bowl.” I was wrong. Flacco has proven to me and the rest of Ravens nation that he is a franchise QB and the leader of the future.
The guy is a gun slinger! I can’t name another quarterback that can throw a 70-yard bomb to win, out-play Tom Brady, and have an 8-0 TD: INT ratio in one postseason. For the third time, Joe Flacco out-dueled Brady and made him look like the young gun.
It took a little while to get rhythm; it wasn’t until the 2nd quarter until he surpassed his one completion and from that point forward, Joe Cool was unstoppable hitting 20 of 30 in the last three quarters. He had 233 yards in those quarters, and went on to score 21 unanswered points.
Jim Caldwell knew what he was doing in this one. He started out with a run first mentality. Although it seemed illogical, in the end, the strategy had the Patriots gunning too quickly. Caldwell unleashed the beast in Flacco and really took the chains off.
Flacco elaborated on Caldwell’s scheme: “In the first half, we were probably a little bit run-heavy and they did a good job of stopping it.” Flacco said. “We didn’t come all the way here to play it safe and hope to win. We came here to win the AFC Championship Game and you have to play to win.”
Unlike the horrific play-calling of the easily forgotten Cam Cameron, Caldwell is exactly what the doctor ordered for Flacco and Co.
With playmakers like Torrey Smith and middle-field threats like Dennis Pitta and “Q”, Flacco is comfortable, calm and collected.
The biggest and most prosperous wrinkle in the re-vamped, big play offense was the switch for Michael Oher. Now on the right side, Oher has been one of the better linemen on the field. If Oher and the rest of the crew can continue to successfully give Flacco time, a Lombardi trophy is in their future!