Flacco has never been immune from criticism. The quarterback has heard the complaints from fans, media and even teammates.
Ed Reed wasn't afraid to call out his quarterback. As he said last year:
“I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by that defense,” Reed said. “They had a lot of guys in the box on him. And, I mean, they were getting to him. I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball. I don’t know how much of the play calling, he could have made audibles or anything like that, checks or whatnot, man, but it just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past. You know, it was just kind of like they was telling him to do, throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys. And he can’t play like that."
Despite the criticism, Flacco is playing really well. In fact, he's the main reason the Ravens are in the Super Bowl.
In three postseason games, Flacco has thrown for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.
He has a completion rate of 54 percent and is averaging nine yards per pass.
It was his 70-yard bomb that brought the Ravens back from the brink against the Broncos.
It was his inspired performance against the Patriots that bought them a ticket to New Orleans.
Without Flacco, the Ravens wouldn't be here.
And without Flacco, the Ravens would have no chance of winning.
But Flacco is here and the Ravens do have a chance of winning. In fact, they stand a pretty good chance.
The 49ers are not invincible. Flacco has the talent and the experience to succeed against them. He is, after all, the only quarterback in history to have six road playoff wins.
This is Flacco's time. He's proven he has the skills. He's proven he can win the big game. He just has to do it one more time.
He most certainly will.