The quest for Super Bowl tickets, the second set on the Ravens plate, is now finished. I suppose the big story here is the rise of the Ravens set against the backdrop of Ray Lewis and I don’t have mush argument about that though I don’t see it as a the big picture. I’m more inclined to see this as a victory for an overall strong defense and a well balanced team. But let’s not kid ourselves here, we’re also seeing the results of injury, more to the point, the absence of Gronkowski and the slide of the New England Patriots.
Relieved of the potent short passing game between Tom Brady and his tight end, the Patriots offense was reduced to mediocrity and Brady had an uncharacteristic two interceptions. On the other side of the ball, the Baltimore Ravens had the dynamic running of Ray Rice to counter the pass rush and the simmering quality of Joe Flaco, a quarterback who’s evoked little praise but invoked big success over the past four years.
Make no mistake, Flaco is making his mark. he’s played well within himself in these playoffs, tossing eight touchdowns while not once putting his team behind the eight-ball with bad throws turned into interceptions. Flaco threaded the needle on all three of his scoring passes, putting the ball where the only player to have a shot at it was wearing a Ravens uniform.
What’s left for Flaco to do? Win a Super Bowl. He’s beaten the Patriots in an AFC Championship in Gillette, which no player has done before. he’s quarterbacked the Ravens to five playoff berths in his first five season, again a record only he holds. Never mentioned in the same breath as the top QB’s in the NFL, Flaco has only one thing left to do.