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Ravens Don’t Make The Playoffs Without Joe Flacco

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By Samuel Njoku

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:   Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a touchdown to tie up the game against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The year 2012 was quite different for the Baltimore Ravens. Gone are the days when the defense saved the day with a huge hit by Ray Lewis or an interception by Ed Reed. If the Ravens were going to make the postseason, the offense would have to save the day. And save the day they did. After watching what can only be described as a preseason game last week between the Bengals and Ravens, one thing stood out entirely.  The Ravens don’t make the postseason without Joe Flacco.

That’s not to say that Joe was exceptional by any means. But he was good – darn good. Good enough to place a team on his back and carry them to a second straight division title. Flacco has been the center of a debate that has raged on since he was drafted 5 years ago. How good is Flacco? His inconsistent play has placed him on the cusp of greatness. But he hasn’t taken the next step. But everyone knows he’s capable of greatness. Time will tell if he ever reaches that status.

But for now, the front office can feel confident that Flacco is good enough to beat anyone on any given night. That’s a far cry from where they were in the days of Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright. Though Flacco is undoubtedly the X-Factor for the Ravens 2012 season, he didn’t do it alone. Ray Rice was remarkable as usual. Torrey Smith has become a household name for his big play ability. And Anquan Boldin has looked better than he has in years. But it all comes back to Flacco.

“Joe is a great quarterback,” stated Harbaugh after Flacco won against New England earlier this year. “This is what we’ve been saying for five years. He has a tremendous supporting cast of players and coaches. It’s not surprising in any way. I’ll head that question off. It’s who Joe is. It’s who he always has been. He is our quarterback, he always has been. He is not going to be perfect – none of us are. But, what you saw out there is Joe Flacco, that’s who he is as a football player.”

Flacco has made a habit of coming up big in big games. He also has had moments when he’s been a non-factor. Consistency is the key for Joe. If he can get it going for a long period of time, the questions surrounding his ability to play will fade away. But if you ask Joe Flacco, there is only one thing he’s concerned with.

“I want to put up statistics,” stated Flacco. But once Sunday comes around, you do what you have to do to win the football game, and you’re satisfied with that.”

That is all that the Ravens are worried about. The Ravens are all about winning. It’s that kind of mindset from Joe that gave the Ravens their 5th straight playoff berth. It’ll be that type of momentum that helps them succeed in the postseason. And with a little luck, it may help them get to their second Super Bowl appearance. If they do, it’ll be thanks to Joe Flacco.

For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Ravens news, see CBS Sports Baltimore

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

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