|Lo'boy makes good!|
One notch better than UD's Rich Gannon who led the Raiders to the Super Bowl but did not win a ring.
Quarterback Joe Flacco celebrates the Ravens’ 34-31 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. (Image by Mark Humphrey/AP)
>> SIMPLY SUPER, JOE
Flacco wins MVP honor after leading Ravens to title
Martin Frank (New Orleans)
The NewsJournal (Delaware OnLine)
Sports | Super Bowl
February 4, 2013
The lights went out for 34 minutes early in the third quarter. The 49ers had furiously cut into the Ravens’ 22-point lead in the third quarter, having a chance at the end to win the game.
And yet, there was Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the former University of Delaware star, maintaining his poise through all of it. In the end, Flacco settled the Ravens down and led them to a 34-31 win over the 49ers in the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
When the game – perhaps the most exciting, most exhilarating and most exhausting out of the 47 previous championship games – ended, Flacco let loose with some of the emotion that he had rarely shown during his five-year NFL career or during his time at UD.
He was a Super Bowl champion. After the final play of the game, the Ravens, fittingly led by Flacco, ran out from the sideline in euphoria and hugged and celebrated in the middle of the field. Flacco euphorically fell into the scrum, yelling into the night.
Later, he held the Vince Lombardi Trophy over his head as a Superdome mostly filled with Ravens fans stood in their seats and cheered.
“It’s unbelievable,” Flacco said. “We don’t make anything easy.”
For Flacco, the feeling was no doubt better than the fact that he was named the Super Bowl MVP, which brings with it a trip to Disney World and a brand new car, not to mention the strong possibility of a massive new contract extension, perhaps worth $100 million or more.
Flacco came through with a performance that elicited comparisons to another quarterback with the first name of Joe – Montana. The quarterback 1980s led the Niners to four Super Bowl championships and is considered the best playoff quarterback in NFL history. [Unless they remember Terry Bradshaw, the 1st NFL QB to win four Super Bowl rings].
Flacco, however, put together a postseason just as impressive as anything Montana ever did. When he threw his third touchdown pass of the first half Sunday, Flacco tied Montana (1989) and St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner (1999) as the only quarterbacks to throw 11 touchdown passes in a playoff season.
Flacco is the first Blue Hens player to win a Super Bowl on the field. Jamin Elliott was a practice squad player in 2004 when the Patriots won the Super Bowl, but didn’t play in the game.
Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. In the playoffs, Flacco threw for 1,140 yards in four games with 11 touchdowns. Just as remarkably, Flacco didn’t threw a single interception.
The first half was an interesting contrast between Flacco and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the second-year player who many NFL experts were crediting with starting an offensive revolution with his ability to run and pass.
Yet Kaepernick was starting just the 10th game of his NFL career, and he seemed unsure of himself. He missed open receivers in the first half. He threw an interception late in the second quarter. And the rest of the Niners offense seemed skittish as well.
Flacco, meanwhile, stood tall in the pocket, exuding calm the entire time.
Flacco pretty much had his way with the 49ers secondary, who had the fourth-ranked pass defense in the NFL. He hooked up with Anquan Boldin for a 13-yard touchdown pass on the Ravens’ first series of the game. His 1-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with 7:10 left in the second quarter gave the Ravens a 14-3 lead. He finished off the half with a 56-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones, who caught the ball at the 8-yard line, got up and eluded a tackler before reaching the end zone. At that point, the Ravens had a 21-3 lead and Flacco was 13 for 20 for 192 yards.
When Jacoby Jones opened the second half by returning the kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, the Ravens had a 28-6 lead and it seemed like the rout was on. Soon after, however, the power went out in the Superdome, which led to a 34-minute delay. This came after a 30-minute halftime, which featured a performance from pop star Beyonce. When the power came back on, it was the 49ers who were charged up. They quickly scored two touchdowns to get within 28-20.
The Ravens’ lead was down to 31-29 after Kaepernick ran the ball in from 16 yards with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to tie it, but missed the twopoint conversion.
“Hey, it goes like that sometimes,” Flacco said about losing momentum. “We had to go out there and just do our job as an offense.”
This is when the Ravens desperately needed Flacco to come through, and he did.
He calmly – and slowly – led the Ravens down the field on a 10-play, 59-yard drive that used up 5 minutes, 38 seconds. The drive ended with a field goal, giving the Ravens a five-point lead with 4:19 left. Flacco had done his job, just like always, calm and under control.
Even during the week leading into the game, Flacco never seemed to let the enormity of the situation bother him, whether it was answering questions from the media all week or walking the streets of New Orleans and posing for pictures or signing autographs for fans.
Flacco seemed to enjoy the entire spectacle. But not nearly as much as he enjoyed winning the Super Bowl. ###
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after Baltimore defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. Flacco, the former University of Delaware star, was named the game’s MVP. (Image by Matt Slocum/AP)
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