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Joe Flacco has taken some heat this year from several different angles.
The Baltimore fans have criticized him for not being able to win games on his own. They believe that their defense and rushing attack are still the meat of the Ravens' team.
Flacco has also received some harsh statements from teammate Ed Reed, who said that Flacco looked rattled by the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs (via USA Today). While the Texans did get to him at times, Houston was one of the best teams in the league this year.
Flacco has lashed out in several interviews trying to defend his role on the team, according to NBC Sports.
He will need to prove his worth Sunday against the Patriots, because Tom Brady and company are going to put up points. Flacco, at some point during the game, will have to drive the Ravens down the field in order to keep up on the scoreboard.
Joe Flacco may not have to throw for 350-plus yards and four touchdowns, but he will need to be an impact player for the Ravens to win this one.