There isn't a bigger underdog than Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, at least not in the minds of his darkest critics. Few gave Flacco a chance to prove himself. He’s been doubted his entire five-year NFL career.
But Flacco didn't seem to mind the negative attention thrown in his lap. Instead, he prospered like he’s done year in and year out under center for the Ravens.
After leading Baltimore to a 10-6 regular season and an AFC North Division Championship, Flacco was destined for glory.
No problem for Flacco, who threw for 282 yards and a pair of touchdowns en route to handing the Colts an early exit to the offseason with a 24-9 victory.
Next up, a trip to the Mile High city, where the Ravens outlasted future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, thanks in large part to Flacco. Donning the purple and black, Flacco stood tall in the pocket and turned in a stellar performance against the Broncos in the divisional round of the playoffs, tossing for 331 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The end result was a 38-35 double overtime victory that sent Flacco and the Ravens to the AFC Championship.
No sweat for Flacco.
Once again, No. 5 wasn't flustered. He didn't flinch under pressure with a trip to the Super Bowl hanging in the balance. Rather, Flacco embraced the challenge and outplayed and outsmarted one of the greatest coach-quarterback tandems the NFL has ever seen.
The Ravens were down 13-7 before Flacco and Co. took over in the second half. A trio of second-half touchdown passes highlighted Flacco’s night, shoving aside Brady and the Patriots with a 28-13 road victory.
Flacco’s performance virtually punched the Ravens ticket to the Super Bowl, their first in 12 seasons.
But let’s not forget. It was the critics who said Flacco couldn't do it. But he did. He led his team to the ultimate game—the NFL’s grandest stage.
Now only one team stands in the way of Flacco and greatness—the San Francisco 49ers.