Ravens vs. Patriots: Joe Flacco Will Be Key to Baltimore Victory

Daine PavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 18, 2013

Joe Flacco is quieting his critics in the playoffs and will keep it rolling in the AFC Title game.
Joe Flacco is quieting his critics in the playoffs and will keep it rolling in the AFC Title game.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens are on a roll. They lost four of their last five regular season games, but they have righted the ship in the playoffs. 

While many people have attributed the Ravens' playoff victories to the return of their leader, Ray Lewis, Baltimore's success is not all due to the veteran making his last run. 

One of the main reasons that the Ravens are in the AFC Championship Game is Joe Flacco. Flacco has had outstanding performances in the first two playoff games. In the Wild Card Round against the Colts, the Ravens quarterback threw for over 280 yards and two touchdowns.

In the Divisional Round, Flacco threw for over 330 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens' exciting double-overtime victory over the No. 1 seed Denver Broncos.

Flacco has played great football, completing over 50 percent of his passes in the postseason and averaging over 10 yards per completion. The Ravens quarterback hasn't thrown an interception since Week 15 in Baltimore's loss to the Broncos. Flacco avenged that Week 15 loss by beating Peyton Manning and the third-best passing defense in the NFL in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. 

Flacco has helped lead the Ravens to two playoff wins, and he won't stop in the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.  

The Patriots field the third-worst passing defense in the NFL, allowing over 270 passing yards per contest. Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and the other Ravens receivers are too talented for New England's secondary to handle. Joe Flacco is on too much of a roll to let the Patriots slow down his offense. 

A huge bonus for Flacco in this matchup is his team's defense. The Ravens, led by Ray Lewis, have stymied opponents in the playoffs. While they allowed the Broncos to score 35 points in their double-overtime win, they got the clutch late-game stops that they needed. 

Flacco has played very well in the last few weeks and will keep the Ravens' momentum rolling over the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and into the Super Bowl.