Joe Flacco is in his fifth year and he's about to play his 10th career playoff game.
That's incredibly rare for a quarterback of his age (27).
As Flacco prepares for another run at the Lombardi Trophy starting Sunday against Indianapolis, the Ravens quarterback has a calmness about him.
"People try to make a big deal about the playoffs and extra intensity that goes into it. I try not to buy into that stuff," Flacco said Thursday.
"I think every time you go out there your rookie year there's definitely a different feeling than when you're in your fifth year."
Indianapolis' Andrew Luck is going to the playoffs in his rookie season. Flacco did that too, and has kept going since.
He is the only player since the 1970 merger to make the playoffs in each of his first four years in the league. He is extending that record in his fifth year.
"He has been in a lot of playoff games, however many it has been – nine," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "So, that's got to be a big plus for him."
Flacco's postseason statistics have steadily improved through the years as well.
|JOE FLACCO POSTSEASON STATS|
Flacco had his strongest playoff performance last year in New England. He outdueled Tom Brady, on the road, and delivered the pass that could have sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl had receiver Lee Evans secured it.
But Flacco is putting past performances – even his sparkling one in New England – behind him.
"You don't try to recapture anything," he said. "That was last year, that was a game against an entirely different team. I think we're a different team."
Flacco had a younger supporting cast around him last year with wide receiver Torrey Smith being a rookie and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson being in their first year as starters.
Still, he put the onus on himself to lead the Ravens offense during the playoffs. He said it's "all up to me" to get completions and get the running game going early.
"I think if we can do that we'll be happy with what we see," Flacco said.
But it goes beyond just executing in the playoffs. Flacco hinted at a little bit more leadership being needed under center.
"That's the job of the quarterback to not only go out there and get completions and put points on the board for your team, but it's getting everybody going and excited about every single down," Flacco said. "I think we're at that point."
However he does it, Flacco has been effective at winning in the playoffs. He has yet to lose an opening playoff game, and his five career postseason wins are the second most by a quarterback in the first four years of their career, trailing only Brady's six victories.
"We've won games here every year," Flacco said. "Statistically, yeah I've probably improved a little bit."