Joe Flacco, one of the more criticized quarterbacks in the NFL on what just might be the best team in the AFC, led his Baltimore Ravens on 92 yard drive, endning up with a 26 yard touchdown pass, on 3rd and 10, to win the game over the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20.
If this was another sport, lets say soccer, Flacco would be running around the stadium, finger on his lips, shushing everyone. Fans, critics. Flacco’s best performance this season came in Game 1, when the Raves beat up the Pittsburgh Steelers in Maryland with Roethlisberger and turning the ball over at will. This time it was a lot harder, but the Ravens ended up sweeping the Steelers for the first time since 2006.
It took Flacco and the Ravens two minutes minus a second to complete the drive. No runs to Ray Rice. No completions to Ray Rice. He hit Anquan Boldin for 21 yards, LaQuan Williams for 13, Boldin twice again for nine and 10. Things get crazy, they’re on the Steelers’ 39. Ed Dickson for 2 yards, and Boldin again, for 11. The Steelers took a timeout, 28 second to go, on their 26. Leading 20-16, falling deep should have been enough.
Flacco tries David Reed. No good. Tries Anquan Boldin, no good. There’s been a lot of talk from Flacco defenders saying that he’s getting too much of the blame. A new receiving core and new offensive schemes have more to do with the offensive struggles. Patience is needed. Maybe they were right. Rookie Torrey Smith made the final, crucial catch, his fifth of the day, scoring his fourth touchdown of the season. Raven got it, 23-20, and the Steelers ran out of time.
For once, it was Flacco who bailed out the Ravens defense. But it’s still not party time in Baltimore. Despite beating the Steelers twice, they know January is a different story. In my eyes, to be totally honest with you, they’re the defending AFC champs, so they’re still the team to beat, but if we’re playing football throughout, we’ll see them again in January. But they’ve got to come to our house.