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Joe Flacco 'The Best Quarterback In Football'


Joe Flacco grabbed a seat in the postgame media room and waited for Head Coach John Harbaugh to finish his press conference.

He didn't talk or draw extra attention to himself. He just sat quietly in his uniform, waiting to go through with his postgame routine. 

In some ways, it was just like every other game.

But Saturday's performance to beat the Steelers 30-17 at Heinz Field wasn't any other day. Flacco had just won a playoff game in Pittsburgh for the first time in franchise history, and he continued his torrid stretch through the playoffs that has lasted the last three postseason trips.

The victory was Flacco's 10th postseason win in his seven NFL seasons.

"That's Joe Flacco," Harbaugh said. "He's the best quarterback in football. We'll take him any day of the week."

Flacco finished the game completing 18-of-29 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns for a 114.0 quarterback rating. He was also lights out when the Ravens needed him the most, as 185 of his yards and both touchdowns came in the second half.

The performance was the kind of game the Ravens have come to expect in the postseason.  

"That's cool Joe," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "The situation may change, but we don't. That's his game. He's going to make plays and he did a good job."

Flacco carried the Ravens on the team's last three trips to the playoffs. He's 5-0 in the postseason since 2012, throwing 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. In his last seven playoff games, Flacco has 17 touchdowns and just one interception for a 110.7 quarterback rating.

He's been so good in the postseason that the same question kept coming up after the game: What's different in the playoffs?

"I really don't know. I say that a lot, but it's a tough question to answer," Flacco said. "I come out here and do the same thing all the time. The biggest thing is to come out here and play a consistent football game."

The one difference Flacco did point to was that he and the offense often get forced into playing with an aggressive mentality in the playoffs.

"You have to play these games to win," Flacco said. "You can't play not to lose. You have to go out there and you have to let everything go. You can't worry about the outcome."

Flacco seems to thrive when the offense is aggressive. He made some of his best plays Saturday when he had pressure in his face and had to improvise.

His 11-yard touchdown to wide receiver Torrey Smith came on a broken play where he had to get out of the pocket and run. The 21-yard touchdown to tight end Crockett Gillmore was a bootleg where he delivered a perfect pass on the run.

He avoided pressure to keep plays alive all night, and the Ravens picked up chunks of yardage in those situations.

"Joe has really developed that over the last couple of years," Harbaugh said. "He extended plays today."

Harbaugh gave Flacco the game ball after the game, and the Ravens will be counting on their franchise quarterback to continue to stretch when they head into New England next weekend. Flacco has outplayed future Hall of Famer Tom Brady on his last two trips to New England, and he led the Ravens to an AFC championship on the last trip to Foxborough.

"We're fighting for one big prize," Flacco said. "You have to do the things to get you to that point. That's playing aggressive football, not having a conscience."

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