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Ray Lewis to Joe Flacco: “You’re the general”

Divisional Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Getty Images

Yesterday was not Joe Flacco’s first playoff win.

But it might have been the first time the Ravens were clearly, obviously and without a doubt his team to lead.

And even the guy who has always assumed that responsibility addressed that in the aftermath of their incredible double-overtime win over the Broncos.

He grew up today,” middle linebacker Ray Lewis said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I told him, ‘You’re the general, lead us to victory, you lead us today.’ I’m just here to facilitate things, just lead us. To look in his eyes, he had something different about him today and I just wanted to encourage him.

“I’ve always been a Joe Flacco fan and always will be, but to watch what he did today was probably one of the greatest things I’ll sit back and remember.”

Flacco threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns (on bombs of 59, 32 and 70 yards), with a 116.2 quarterback rating. He’s now 7-4 all-time in the playoffs.

That it came while Peyton Manning threw two picks and fumbled twice on the other side brought into stark relief the quarterback Flacco has become.

“Perspectives on any player are going to evolve and that’s part of the process for any young quarterback,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You look at one of the greatest to ever play the game that was on the other side today [Manning] and if you look back, the perspective on him as evolved over the years. Joe’s going to be like that, like any other quarterback. I’m proud of him.”

While he still does some weird things at odd times, he’s one of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL, and he has weapons around him to truly facilitate that (including Ray Rice running 30 times, which helps open things up down the field).

“Joe has a cannon,” wide receiver Jacoby Jones said of Flacco. “That’s why we call him, ‘Smokin’ Joe.’”

He’ll get even hotter this offseason, when it’s time for the Ravens to extend his contract, as this kind of performance is the thing many were waiting to see.

For Flacco to have grabbed the team by the lapels and dragged them along, on a big stage against a Hall of Fame opponent, should clear things up about him.

And at a time when the Ravens are looking for a leader to transition to, his performance came at a perfect time.

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54 Responses to “Ray Lewis to Joe Flacco: “You’re the general””
  1. scoops1 says: Jan 13, 2013 8:58 AM

    Flaco will be getting straight $$ homie!!

  2. heyzeus143 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:02 AM

    Slacco

  3. ty46 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:05 AM

    This is how propagandists feed the dumb:

    “Peyton Manning threw two picks and fumbled twice ”
    -one pick was PI
    -one fumble was no fumble(knee down), but with the penalty, there was no need to replay
    -one fumble was tucked away, but refs only give those to Luck and Brady——–I bet if there is a tuck situation today, Brady will get it

  4. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:07 AM

    Flacco is “7-4 all-time in the playoffs”? Terrific. But what’s his ERA?
    Wasn’t so long ago when Harbaugh did his best to hide Flacco in postseason games. Flacco was a liability and simply along for the ride as recently as three seasons ago…
    Having said that, against the Broncos, Flacco reminded me of Bradshaw: Not a high percentage of completions but just enough completed long throws for touchdowns down field.
    Maybe all this dinking and dunking around the league is finally being phased out. We can only hope.

  5. jakec4 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:10 AM

    I don’t know that the Ravens were waiting to see Flacco do it, they were waiting for him to do it consistently. He’s gaining back his leverage for sure after these two playoff games with a 121.0 QB rating, 5 touchdowns, and zero picks (although Denver did drop a pick or two). Flacco outplayed Brady last year in the AFC Championship, and he’ll most likely have to do it again in a week. Whether or not a fan agrees he’s probably a 100 million dollar QB now. At least that is what it’s going to cost to keep in in his prime years.

  6. pinion8ted says: Jan 13, 2013 9:13 AM

    Joe Flacco surprise me last night. He definitely wasn’t the “Come up short” Flacco I’m used to seeing. He didn’t panic, he didn’t choke, and that 70 yard TD pass was a thing of beauty.

    One game does not “elite” make, but Joe Flacco had a game for the ages.

    Equally stunning. across the field, was Peyton Manning looking very pedestrian. I had hoped for, and expected a great performance by Manning; both because I have thoroughly enjoyed his “In your face, Irsay!” comeback, as well as to see perhaps a last Brady v. Manning playoff duel.

    Instead, the B-more defense stepped up BIG. There were a few breaks the Zebra’s gave the Ravens, but when they ultimately didn’t help, I waited for Manning to step up and do his magic.

    Last night, there was no rabbit inside the hat, and Manning could not get it done.

    It was just that simple.

    Feel badly for either team that lost that great battle last night, and bow Baltimore really has me worried, if my Patriots beat the Texans today.

    Ray Lewis’ last hope at another Super Bowl just got a whole lot better last night.

  7. FinFan68 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:22 AM

    Custer was a General too. Let’s not get carried away. He threw a few good deep balls and at least one of them should have been picked off.

  8. benroethlisberger7 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:29 AM

    LOL Joe Fluke-o

  9. jrebar88 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:33 AM

    some bafoon tried to say flacco was clutch because he threw up a hailmary to jones. that is not clutch. if completing a hailmary makes you clutch the david garrad is a HoF

  10. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:39 AM

    great players show up great in big games. i am not saying joe is great or elite. but his last 3 playoff games he has been outstanding. he has outplayed 2 of the greatest ever and did it on the road. as far as the poster who says oh he should have thrown 2 picks…he didnt. so maybe joe is ready to go to that next level…time will tell and on to new england. bronco fans….that was an amazing game…damn shame someone had to lose. and the steeler fans who have focused on the positive of watching a truly classic football game…thanks for the classiness. great football is what its all about. go ravens!!

  11. steelersownyou says: Jan 13, 2013 9:48 AM

    Win something first. All excited about flacco in some meaningless divisional round. But that’s who the ravens and their fans are. They suffer in mediocrity. Throw the ball deep and hope. Don’t worry all the ratbirds will be on the couch watching Brady in the super bowl.. Enjoy your delusional party ratbirds. It all ends soon! Yippee…

  12. number20pick6 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:51 AM

    Is it a Hail Mary when the wr beats the corner and the safety? So Torrey’s first td was also a Hail Mary?

  13. steel420 says: Jan 13, 2013 9:56 AM

    A great game by Flacco yesterday that highlighted his best attribute, the deep ball. He deserves to get paid in the offseason.

  14. deathonwings410 says: Jan 13, 2013 10:02 AM

    Steelersownyou, refresh my memory: who do the steelers play this weekend? Fred Couples or Tiger Woods?

  15. cubsisles72 says: Jan 13, 2013 10:12 AM

    Patriots gonna destroy the Ravens by 3td’s plus… RayRay gonna get Bosworthed by the Gronk.

  16. ravenator says: Jan 13, 2013 10:20 AM

    Steeler fans still talking after that game haha, I can only laugh now. Newsflash broncos whipped you in regular season, the real AFCN champs finished the job. Have fun dealing with that cap this offseason. 8-8 need I say more

  17. ravenator says: Jan 13, 2013 10:21 AM

    Explain to me why Steeler fans are talking after having a putrid season capped off with missing the playoffs entirely, fading into irrelevancy.

  18. vottorific says: Jan 13, 2013 10:22 AM

    One game does not make a great quarterback. But that game certainly does not hurt General Joe.

  19. ravenator says: Jan 13, 2013 10:22 AM

    Running your mouth after that game proves Steeler fans are the dumbest in the league. Amazing.

  20. TheWizard says: Jan 13, 2013 10:28 AM

    I’m glad the Ravens won that game, but one of Peyton’s “fumbles” should have clearly been the tuck rule.

  21. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 10:33 AM

    just a quick recap from certain steeler fans..”ravens wont win the division. ravens wont beat indy…ravens wont beat denver” of course the superbowl is the ultimate goal but to post every week the ravens will lose is like rex ryan guaranteeing a super bowl every year. just seems ridiculous. and how come when ben runs around and makes a play he is great but when joe does it its luck. well i guess when your team is home and you have nothing else to talk about this is what you are left with. and to the steeler fans that have given the ravens credit i again applaud your class

  22. commonsensedude says: Jan 13, 2013 10:42 AM

    Redskins fan here who is excited and happy for our neighbors to the north. Flacco played a great game and the Broncos secondary played a horrible game. Yesterday was a great day for Flacco – and for his agent.

  23. nokoolaidcowboy says: Jan 13, 2013 10:47 AM

    Flacco stands on his own merits. No anointing from Lewis necessary. Knock this guy all you want, wish we had him right now.

    - Cowboys fan with paper bag over his head

  24. ahostiletakeover says: Jan 13, 2013 10:58 AM

    For the last time, Joe Flacco doesn’t care about being labeled “elite” (do I even have to use that word, its so overused in this game). The media has hounded him on the question for over a year now when THEY are the ones who originally interjected the elite question and all Flacco has done is shown confidence in himself to believe in his mind “I am the best QB in the league,” and that is all that matters. Flacco will never be a Manning or Brady, he just isn’t that type of a QB. What he is, is a QB who has shown time and again that he can be more than clutch for his team and make all the throws neccessary to win games for said team. And that is all that the Baltimore Ravens need. Pay the man.

  25. citizenstrange says: Jan 13, 2013 11:13 AM

    I believe that Lewis’ full quote was:

    “I think the only promotion I’m interested in is promoting you guys to generals in my Friendship Army.”

    /Workaholics-ed

  26. lennylyles says: Jan 13, 2013 11:20 AM

    The Raiders won championships in 1976, 1980, and 1983. That is over and in the past. When are Steeler fans going to stop living on their past and focus on their present. You should be focusing on losses to poor Oakland, Tennessee, and Cleveland teams. I would aso look at an overweight Big Ben’s penchant for throwing late game picks. Focus on the now. Right now you are a sub par to middle of the road franchise. I know the Ravens are your rival but give credit where credit is do.

  27. rajbais says: Jan 13, 2013 11:34 AM

    Good!!! Now the media should treat Flacco the same way!!!

    Tony Romo, Josh Freeman, and Sam Bradford are lost causes!!!

  28. duck99 says: Jan 13, 2013 11:35 AM

    Flacco threw a perfect strike that should have gotten the Ravens to the SB last year, but it was dropped. This year he throws a Hail Mary that is miss played by the bronco safety and now he’s “elite”? Hmmm….

  29. realfootballfan says: Jan 13, 2013 11:45 AM

    Maybe now, Raven fans will get off this guy. If your goal is to win the Super Bowl, what do you prefer unreal 115 ratings when it doesn’t count or a guy who performs in the clutch like Joe did last night?

    Flacco’s delivered time and again from his rookie year on, and why he doesn’t get respect just because his “numbers” aren’t spectacular is beyond stupid. Most teams would pray to be in the playoffs 5 straight years with a QB coming into the league and in the third straight AFC championship game.

    If not for a receiver dropping a tD and then the kicker missing the kick, I’m pretty sure he’d be a Super Bowl defending QB right now because what happened to the Giants week 16 in Baltimore would have been what happened had that been the matchup instead of the Patriots last January.

    And before anyone says the defense carried him there most years, how’d the Kyle Boller years go? He’s a good QB who’s clutch, something I’d trade all day over Tecmo Bowl stats.

  30. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 13, 2013 11:47 AM

    lennylyles says:
    Jan 13, 2013 11:20 AM
    The Raiders won championships in 1976, 1980, and 1983. That is over and in the past. When are Steeler fans going to stop living on their past and focus on their present. You should be focusing on losses to poor Oakland, Tennessee, and Cleveland teams. I would aso look at an overweight Big Ben’s penchant for throwing late game picks. Focus on the now. Right now you are a sub par to middle of the road franchise. I know the Ravens are your rival but give credit where credit is do.

    6 0 Focusing on the now I realize how little you know about football outside of your chosen team. I give the ravens plenty of credit but the not pseudo experts such as yourself.

  31. 8man says: Jan 13, 2013 11:52 AM

    I think you have to give this kid his due. He led the Ravens to victories over the Colts and a Peyton Manning led Broncos team. Two big emotional wins for Baltimore fans. I think it was cathartic for them.

    And now he and the Ravens have a potential rematch in Foxboro looming for a trip to the big game. Flacco had better numbers than Brady did in the AFCCG last year. In fact, the Ravens were the better team. If Sterling Moore doesn’t knock that ball away or Cundiff hits that chip shot, we are talking about a completely different history.

    That being said, go Patriots, beat the Texans and make the rematch happen. Bring it!

  32. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 12:13 PM

    to realfootballfan..hear hear….i couldnt agree more. wins and losses matter…not madden stats. joe is good and getting better.

  33. johntonioholmes says: Jan 13, 2013 12:52 PM

    Hey Flacco made some big time plays but I’m a little surprised tat defense didn’t, you know, adjust.

    Champ Bailey had no business sungling up against Smith in the first half–it cost them two scores.

    And any team that understands how to play three deep doesn’t let that last pass happen.

    And while I don’t want to take anything away from the Ravens, that first pick 6 should have been p.i. It ended up being the final factor in the game that allowed the Ravens to tie.

  34. siggtacular says: Jan 13, 2013 1:04 PM

    A nice piece here, finally people are seeing the light on joe. However, he must win a Super Bowl to be truly ‘elite’

  35. mlbbal52 says: Jan 13, 2013 1:42 PM

    I like the comment where the guy made excuses for the Broncos…
    First off the first pick was not a PI both Player were there at the same time…be mad at Decker for not catching it. Second the Tuck rule was not even in play on Mannings fumble because McPhee touched his arm and the ball came loose on the forward motion…you must be an idiot…question whats your excuse for the last pick in OT that cost the Broncos the game??? Oh an “fake” steeler fans on hear talking crap thats right you are “fake” you want the ravens to lose you need the ravens to loose so you can feel better about yourselves…misery loves company…respect to REAL steeler fans.

  36. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 13, 2013 2:24 PM

    Oh come ON! Flacco’s fluke TD was nothing more than the stupidity of Denver not dropping back the entire defense in coverage. You’re telling me any prevent defense allows a receiver to get behind them? That’s not QB skill, that’s defensive stupidity.

    All Denver had to do was drop 8 guys back, wait for the deep ball, pick it off or knock it down, and we’re talking about how Flacco didn’t even make the AFC Championship again. ANYONE who claims this was QB skill simply is clueless. Apparently that describes a lot of you.

    That guy on TV who calls him “Fluke-o” pretty much has it pegged right.

  37. steelersownyou says: Jan 13, 2013 2:29 PM

    If I was the patriots I would rest Brady next week in the AFC championship. We’ll let you borrow Charlie batch. He’ll take care of that scrub team for you. Like he did 6 weeks ago. Save Brady for the super bowl. Ravens gotucky. Pick 6 on a pass interference not called. Tuck rule fumble. Botched call. They need help from the refs every game. Crybaby fans, coach and team. A complete classless organization from the top down.. I hope they don’t fluke and win it all. They will be more insufferable than that unintelligent fanbase already is!!!

  38. bunkerhillbob says: Jan 13, 2013 3:04 PM

    Flacco came through when he had to and inspired his team to victory; what else does he have to do?

  39. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 3:15 PM

    insufferable classless fan base? this coming from a disappointed steeler fan who cant accept the fact that the steelers didnt make it this year. how come ben runs around for 10 minutes and chucks one up that gets caught he is elite but when flacco does it its lucky. and yeah…charlie batch beat the ravens…thats a fact. just like you dont get to watch your team til next year and the ravens are going to the afc championship. the steelers have many great fans…you arent one of them

  40. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 13, 2013 3:28 PM

    I am not sure why anyone is talking about stupid fans of either team as the steelers have “steelers own you” and the ravens have “ravenator,randalflagg, and ravenmuscle” . The thread is about the improved play of Joe the general Flacco so let’s stay on that if we can. Real steeler fans really don’t care what the ravens do unless it impacts the steelers and unfortunately this year that is all done.

  41. steelersownyou says: Jan 13, 2013 3:32 PM

    blah blah blah youll be on the couch after next week. just like the steelers and their fans. but hey at least you won the afcn and made it to the afc championship again right? exactly…you count afcn titles and 5 years straight in the playoffs. wow steeler nation is so unimpressed. to you ratbird fans that’s awesome to steeler fans that’s failure. that’s the difference. and us steeler fans don’t get upset when we don’t make the playoffs. this sint a new thing to us. every few years we miss the playoffs. 07, 09, 12…when were in it we usually win or get to the big dance…now you ravens..not so much!!!!

  42. itsfootballbaby says: Jan 13, 2013 3:33 PM

    So, let me get this straight….Ravens fans are the crybabies. Look in the mirror steelersblowyou.

  43. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 3:42 PM

    true football fans like nofool get it.

  44. troysmithsghost says: Jan 13, 2013 3:43 PM

    Followed immediately afterwards by Joe Flacco to Ray Lew: “You’re a murderer”

  45. faninvirginia says: Jan 13, 2013 3:51 PM

    Peyton admitted in the press conference it WAS a fumble. The first pick was a close call but in real speed it should not have been called. In slow speed it was closer, but I think it was called correctly. There were two hands to the face penalties against the Ravens that were inaccurate as well as a glancing face mask that Deirdorf called Ticky-Tack. There was also a Holding call against the Ravens where Williams had his hand on the receiver but did nothing to change his route or turn him at all. This touching goes on every play. For anyone to blame to loss on the Refs is not very football intelligent. Calls are part of the game. I think coaching was the difference. The broncos continued to play man coverage and bring the safeties up. On the Hail Mary they should have been in a full prevent with what some teams are calling the “Dollar” package (more than the dime) If you have a hall of fame QB and 30 seconds and three timeouts and one need 30-40 yards for a field goal – take a chance. They could have run 6 plays. Ravens responded better to game conditions an simply deserved the win

  46. ravenator says: Jan 13, 2013 4:31 PM

    Are you kidding me scooby doo? Nofool is no true football fan. Read any one of his posts prior to the ravens actually pulling out a win (moment for him to eat crow) and you will see his true colors. Thank you, goodbye nofool. Your team is on the couch watching the true AFCN champs represent, playing in the AFC Championship. Hate on, Ive seen your posts, I know your type.

  47. guitarkevin says: Jan 13, 2013 5:16 PM

    Flacco could have had 2 more touchdowns to Torrey Smith.

    Imagine if he did. It would have been an absolute blowout!

  48. scoobies05 says: Jan 13, 2013 6:02 PM

    hey troysmithsghost. why dont you try posting something football related instead of spouting off the same old lies that just show your ignorance of a topic that is completely unrelated to the thread. the whole ray lewis is a murderer was not even pursued in atlanta…if they really thought he killed 2 men maybe they would have pursued it more. but atlanta da charged ray with his crime..obstructing justice. ray paid his restitution..case closed. as steeler ryan clark tweeted…people who live in glass houses…and that was about ben and ray. fan bases should concentrate on football…every team has players who have at some point commited criminal acts.

  49. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 13, 2013 6:04 PM

    Personally, I love it. Flacco’s fluke TD will now get him the big contract extension, and the 10 more years I PRAY he spends in Baltimore, and continues the mediocrity. So yes, pay Joe, he’s uh, “truly elite” and you MUST keep him in Baltimore!

    Thank you Denver defense, for being so stupid.

    PLEASE finish your career in Crabtown, Mr. Flacco. You’re the QB the town deserves!

  50. jacktheraven says: Jan 13, 2013 9:51 PM

    Joe has conquered the steelers, beating them at home, and winning the AFC North 2 rows in a row.. He just finished off Manning. Now it’s on to brady. What more does he have to do?

  51. randallflagg52 says: Jan 13, 2013 11:56 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Jan 13, 2013 9:22 AM
    Custer was a General too. Let’s not get carried away. He threw a few good deep balls and at least one of them should have been picked off.

    ====================================

    Custer was a lieutenant colonel, not a general. But thats not the point here. Flacco has won more games than anyone other QB up to this point in his career. If you think the defense gets the credit, why didn’t Boller win games?

  52. blackdonnelly says: Jan 14, 2013 4:30 AM

    If you’re a Ravens fan, how could one not be whacko for Flacco at this point?

    He showed us something Saturday. Now let’s see how they do against the Evil Hoodie and his minions.

    Go Ravens!

  53. gizzmonic says: Jan 14, 2013 6:49 AM

    Gonna be a tough game next week. Its hard to pick a favorite. The Ravens somehow have god on the team and the Patriots only have Brady

  54. nflgal6 says: Jan 17, 2013 10:26 AM

    I’m tired of Flacco not getting the credit he deserves he is a great quarterback! It will be a great game Patriots and Ravens can’t wait.

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