The Baltimore Ravens stopped trying to work out a new contract with quarterback Joe Flacco before the 2012 season began. In hindsight, Flacco should be very happy about that.
After a regular season that at times raised questions about whether the Ravens would be willing to even use the franchise or transition tag to hold Flacco in place for a sixth season, Flacco found a higher gear, with three straight games of triple digit passer ratings, a trio of wins, and road victories in duels against two of the best quarterbacks of all time: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
The final punctuation was an exclamation point, avoiding the necessity of late-game heroics by blowing New England off the field in the second half with a 21-0 performance in the final two quarters.
So far in the postseason, Flacco has completed 51 of 93 passes for 853 yards, with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has averaged 9.2 yards per attempt, and the cumulative passer rating is 114.7.
“I’m not going to go into the whole Joe Flacco thing,” running back Ray Rice said after the game, via J. Michael of CSNBaltimore.com. “He’s going to deserve every penny that he’s going to ask for this offseason. It’s not the first time he’s done that at Gillette Stadium against Tom Brady.”
Win or lose in 13 days, the Ravens need to give him a deal that falls in line with the top quarterbacks in the game. Because he has proven, despite the many doubters, that he is indeed one of them. And he’s done it by consistently beating them.