Ravens vs. Patriots: Why Joe Flacco Will Lead Baltimore to the Super Bowl

Jon DoveContributor IJanuary 22, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is ready to lead this football team to a Super Bowl appearance. Sunday's game against the New England Patriots will be the defining moment of his career, as he will either show he's the future of the franchise or force the Ravens to consider other options.

Flacco couldn't ask to have a better defensive matchup in the AFC Championship Game. The New England Patriots struggle with all phases of defense, but especially have problems stopping the pass. Baltimore should be able to operate any offensive game plan. New England's defense won't be able to force them into a one-dimensional attack.

Ray Rice and the running game will be able find success, which takes pressure off of Flacco and the passing attack. Rice's success makes play-action a very successful tool for the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of play-action passes and a few deep attempts to speedster Torrey Smith.

The Patriots secondary allowed nearly 300 passing yards a game. If Dan Orlovsky can accumulate 353 passing yards against this defense, Flacco should have no problem approaching the 300-yard mark. Orlovsky was able to find that success without the support of a strong running game. Flacco will build lean on Rice, who takes defenders out of coverage.

Baltimore's receiving corps boasts more than enough talent to make some game changing plays. Anquan Bolden's physical style of play is something that gives most secondaries problems. One could argue that he is the most physical receiver the Patriots have faced outside of Brandon Marshall. Marshall was able the torch the secondary for total of 13 receptions and 282 receiving yards in just two games.

Bolden is complemented by Smith, who features the speed capable of taking the top off the defense. Flacco has the weapons needed to succeed and today he will show the world that he can be a Super Bowl quarterback.