We all laughed when Baltimore’s Joe Flacco called himself the best quarterback in the NFL during the off-season.
Well, who’s laughing now? Certainly not the Denver Broncos, who happen to have the guy many people think really is the best quarterback in the NFL, Peyton Manning, on their roster.
That’s because the Ravens knocked the Broncos out of the playoffs with a 38-35 double overtime victory Saturday, and it was all made possible by a desperation pass from Flacco to Jacoby Jones on a third-down play with just 41 seconds left in regulation.
Trailing by seven points with no timeouts left, Flacco bought time in the pocket then unleashed a bomb to Jones, who was sprinting down the right sideline into double coverage. Denver defensive back Tony Carter slowed up and safety Rahim Moore jumped into the air in an attempt to knock the ball down.
Instead, Jones ended up with an easy catch for a 70-yard touchdown to tie the game and force overtime.
“At that point, you have to start taking shots,” said Flacco, who completed 18 of 31 passes for 331 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. “You have to get a little lucky. Had to take a shot and everyone came through.”
Like Flacco, Manning had three touchdown passes. But he also threw two interceptions -- both were pulled in by Corey Graham and both were costly (the first was a pick six in the opening quarter and the second helped set up the winning field goal).
Still not ready to declare Flacco the best quarterback in the NFL, but at least on this day he was better than one of the best ever.