It was a commanding performance for
Calmly orchestrating the Ravens' offense, Flacco outdueled
Flacco completed 18 of 34 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns for a 116.2 quarterback rating, while Manning was intercepted twice and fumbled twice, losing one.
"I don't know if I'm amazed, but it was pretty incredible," Flacco said of toppling the Broncos. "We overcame some things. We fought to the very end."
Flacco launched accurate, crisp spirals to connect on scoring throws of 59, 32 and 70 yards. His towering bomb behind flailing Broncos free safety
"Joe has a cannon," Jones said of Flacco, who's in a contract year with negotiations on a potential blockbuster deal tabled until the offseason. "That's why we call him, 'Smokin' Joe.'"
Allusions to boxing legend
"He grew up today," Ravens middle linebacker
Flacco's sharp performance and the presence of the Ravens' running game complementing him meant a balanced offense.
The Ravens rushed for 155 yards on 39 carries, 131 of them gained on 30 carries by
"Our offense goes through Joe," said Rice, who 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. We were able to churn up yards in the running game because of the way Joe was on point."
Flacco rebounded from a rough performance against the Broncos during a 34-17 regular-season loss where he threw an interception returned 98 yards for a touchdown and lost a fumble that led to a field goal.
"Joe made spectacular throws," rookie offensive guard
Flacco hasn't turned the ball over since the first Broncos game.
Criticized at times for his stoic personality and for an up-and-down regular season, Flacco had a huge game at just the right time against the top-seeded Broncos.
“Perspectives on any player are going to evolve and that’s part of the process for any young quarterback," Ravens coach
Flacco has made the playoffs five consecutive years, making him the first quarterback in
Will more respect accompany the achievement for Flacco?
"Joe has been taking heat for years and years," Pro Bowl fullback