Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has endured a lot of ups and downs throughout his career, but his performance in the playoffs this season can't be ignored.
Flacco had a phenomenal postseason, capped off by a 34-31 victory over the favored San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
In the Super Bowl, Flacco went 22-of-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns. In four playoff games, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 9.0 yards per attempt, tossing 11 touchdowns to zero interceptions along the way.
This came after passing for 482 yards and four touchdowns to one interception in two playoff games last season.
It's time to give Flacco his due.
The fifth-year quarterback was nearly flawless in the playoffs this season. He not only led the Ravens over the favored Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and 49ers, he did so on the road against the Broncos and Patriots. And, in the end, isn't that the mark of a franchise quarterback? If you excel against favored teams on the road in the playoffs and finish with a Super Bowl title, what else is there?
It's also worth noting that Ravens running back Ray Rice didn't exactly keep San Francisco honest in Super Bowl XLVII. He rushed for 59 yards on 20 carries. The 49ers were focused on defending the pass down the stretch and it still didn't matter. Flacco found his spots and used the deep ball to sink the 49ers, just as he had against his previous three opponents in the playoffs.
Flacco has been a fairly controversial figure during his time under center for the Ravens, primarily because of bouts of inconsistency. But there was nothing inconsistent about Flacco's performance in the playoffs this season. In fact, he was consistently brilliant.
Flacco doesn't care what people think of him at this point. He led his team to a Super Bowl title. When all is said and done, that's what matters.