Perception: Mark Zinno of 105.7 the Fan and others have said “You can’t win the Super Bowl without scoring touchdowns”.
Reality: That’s incorrect! In 2000, the Ravens went five games in a row without scoring a touchdown, but also went on to win the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s hard to do, but to say that the Ravens can’t win this year’s Super Bowl the way they won Monday night is just wrong. When you have a very solid defense, an offense that does just enough, and the best kicker in the NFL, you give yourself a chance to win every game. And that’s what this Ravens team does.
Perception: Joe Flacco continues to prove he is a franchise quarterback, outplaying many other QBs he faces.
Reality: Last night I tweeted “I love the calm, even-keeled attitude that Flacco has all game. Good or bad plays, it doesn’t change and that is good for the team.”
Flacco proved that again last night, even saying after the game: “We don’t panic. We don’t let the situation get too big. I wish it wasn’t like that, that we wouldn’t have to continue to play these types of games. But we’ve played a lot of them. We’re used to having to make plays in crunch time when you’re down a couple of points or up by a couple of points. We’ve played in a lot of big-time games and a lot of big-time atmospheres. Everybody knows how to handle them pretty well.”
He keeps his composure better than so many other quarterbacks and players in the NFL. I know he’s not the best QB in football, but in the 4th quarter, Flacco consistently makes incredible throws to put the team in position to win. I’ll take him as my quarterback any day of the week.
Perception: A ton of fans had jumped off the Ravens bandwagon weeks ago. Today, they may be trying to get back on.
Reality: I’m calling out all the fans who have been calling local sports talk stations, sending tweets, and making comments on this site all season long saying the Ravens were done and would do nothing this season.
I think this sums it all up nicely, from ESPN Ravens writer Jamison Hensley, “A month ago, I was convinced the Baltimore Ravens weren’t going to make the playoffs. Now, after another can’t-believe-it-until-you-see-it moment, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Ravens marched to another Super Bowl. I’m not saying the Ravens are the NFL’s best team. Heck, I can’t say they’re a consistent team. But, when the game is on the line, there is no team I trust more in the NFL right now than the defending Super Bowl champions.”
As I’ve said over and over again… The Baltimore Ravens play up or down to the level of their competition. They will never win pretty. They aren’t likely to blow anyone out. They hang around and make enough plays in the 4th quarter to get a win. They find a way to win. 4th-and-29 in San Diego last season. The Mile High Miracle in the playoffs last year. Stopping a 2-point conversion from the Steelers on Thanksgiving night. Outscoring the Vikings last week in the final 2 minutes. 6 field goals by Justin Tucker last night.
Perception: Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the NFL.
Reality: The 61 yard field goal was the longest field goal made in a dome in the history of the NFL. He also made field goals in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and the 60s last night… the first player in NFL history to do that. He kicked a total of 248 yards of field goals. Tucker has kicked 33 straight field goals. The 61-yard game-winner was a career best for Tucker and was the longest field goal in Ravens history.
It’s simply amazing how Baltimore embraces their kickers. First Matt Stover, and now Justin Tucker. Would any other city in America buy a jersey of their kicker? We have been so blessed in Baltimore, that years down the road, you could say the Baltimore Ravens could have 2 kickers on their Mount Rushmore. They could have the greatest kicker in NFL history and the best kicker currently in the NFL.