Our series on ASN’s 50 greatest NFL championship competitors of the past 50 years continues with No. 16 Joe Flacco, originally published on Jan. 30.
Joe Flacco is mellow. Joe Flacco is calm. Joe Flacco doesn’t get ruffled.
His nickname is Joe Cool.
And Flacco is the first person to tell you that all of those traits — and his nickname — served him well during his one shot at a Super Bowl.
“I think the biggest thing for our team that week was that we were able to live in the moment,” said Flacco, who was named MVP on his way to leading the Ravens to a 34-31 victory against San Francisco is Super Bowl XLVII. “I believe it really helped us win the game. … We allowed ourselves to play in the moment, relax and just play football.”
Flacco, who missed the last half of this season after suffering ACL and MCL tears on Nov. 22 , has played his entire career for the Ravens. They made him the No. 18 overall pick in 2008 out of Delaware, where he set 20 school records in two years after transferring from Pitt.
Until the injury this season, Flacco had started in 137 consecutive games.
Due to injuries on the Ravens roster, Flacco started as a rookie and led the Ravens to the AFC Championship following the 2008 season. Baltimore lost that game, as well as its next shot at a Super Bowl, the 2011 AFC Championship.
When Baltimore finally got over the hump and advanced to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season, it was largely in part to Flacco’s incredible postseason run, during which he tied Joe Montana’s single postseason record for touchdowns with 11 and no interceptions.
When Flacco reflects on that season and the Super Bowl experience, he is enthusiastic, but still maintains that sense of calm he felt brought Baltimore a Super Bowl victory.
“My memories of the entire Super Bowl week in New Orleans are awesome,” he said. “We took in everything, the entire process of being down there. … We didn’t make the moment too big and therefore, we were able to go out there and play loose and play the type of game that we were playing leading up to the Super Bowl.”
Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns — tying him for first place on the NFL’s all-time list of most consecutive playoff games with at least three touchdowns (three). He also became the first pro to have QB passer rating of 100 or more in a postseason. Flacco was able to parlay that performance into a then-record $120.6 million, six-year deal with the Ravens.