Joe Flacco's Fiery Halftime Speech Snaps Ravens Out Of Funk

As the Ravens came together in the locker room during halftime of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, an unlikely voice piped up.

It was quarterback Joe Flacco – and he was fired up.

"Let's go win a [flipping] game. [Fudge]!" Flacco said.

Joe Cool isn't as mute, nor boring, as fans might think. But he's also not one to speak up so emotionally.

"Y'all act like Joe is the most boring guy in the world, man" wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He has some fire to him. You can't expect anything long from Joe, but the delivery was powerful."

Just those few strong words helped Baltimore's offense come alive and pull out a gritty 20-10 win over the Browns to reach the playoffs. And it was Flacco himself who backed up his emotion with his play, especially in the fourth quarter.

"I probably can't remember a time he has ever done it before," Head Coach John Harbaugh said of the passionate words. "He has said some things before, but I was glad to hear it. He said it better than I did."

Harbaugh's halftime message was to let loose and not played scared. Flacco put it a bit more directly.

"It was like, 'Oh, hey, let's just go do it,'" tight end Owen Daniels said. "It snapped us out of whatever funk we were in and refocused us on the task at hand. Just win the game."

"Joe doesn't really talk too much," added wide receiver Kamar Aiken, who caught the game-sealing touchdown pass from Flacco. "So when you hear Joe, you kind of lock in. It was great to hear him step up and say something. We know he's a leader quietly, but to hear him vocally do it today, it meant a lot."

Flacco was 14-for-27 for 151 yards through the first three quarters. It was a similar showing to what he had in Houston a week ago, which was one of his worst career days.

But as opposed to that game, Flacco eventually found his groove. As outside linebacker Terrell Suggs put it, "Five started playing like 5 in the second half."

Flacco went 8-for-9 for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. That's good for a quarterback rating of 158.3.

With the Ravens trailing by a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter, with the season on the line, Flacco was clutch in the most clutch situation.

He got going on the first drive of the fourth quarter. Flacco hit Steve Smith Sr. and Aiken for 10 and 11-yard gains, respectively. Then the strong-armed quarterback lofted a perfect pass to Daniels for a 39-yard catch and run.

The drive stalled and the Ravens settled for a 28-yard field goal to cut the Browns' lead to 10-6, but the drive was huge for getting Flacco and the offense rolling.

On Flacco's next play, he dropped back and lobbed a beautiful pass deep to Torrey Smith, who made a leaping catch for a 53-yard gain. Flacco made the completion over the head of Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.

"I don't really care who's out there," Flacco said. "Give a lot of credit to Torrey."

Flacco then fired the game-deciding 16-yard touchdown pass into the perfect window for Smith, who had cornerback Buster Skrine draped over his back in the end zone.

Two passes, seven points. That's how quickly Flacco can strike.

"It's Joe Flacco," Harbaugh said. "Joe has been a great fourth-quarter quarterback."

"When Joe is hot, he's tough to handle," Torrey Smith added. "And that's on us at times to get him hot and our offensive line to do a great job protecting him. When you get him hot, we've seen what he can do. So, hopefully, that last quarter or whatever amount it was he got hot, hopefully that continues."

Flacco was asked whether his fourth-quarter performance is a moment that defines a quarterback.

"I have no idea," he quipped. "If we win the Super Bowl, I guess it will be."

Check out the best photos from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens battle the Browns in week 17 of the 2014 season.

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