Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/4/13
Last year during the offseason, Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco was making wild statements about how he was an “elite” quarterback and the best in the business.He really sounded like he belonged in a nut house than on the football field.Flacco has been one of those quarterbacks that has seen more downs than ups over his career even though he manages to get the Ravens in the playoffs every season.He has never been that quarterback to outshine his opposition even if he was on the winning side of the scoreboard -- until 2012.Flacco started the season off on fire leading the Ravens to a 5-1 record.It was during the Ravens' Week 6, 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys when things would start to become rocky for Flacco and the Ravens.During the win against the Cowboys it seemed that star linebacker Ray Lewis was done for the season - and his career - when he suffered an injury.The Ravens' strong start would finally come to and end during a Week 7, 43-13 beat down in Houston by the Texans.Without Lewis it seemed the Ravens' season was over heading into the bye week. After their bye they picked up where they had left off before their whipping by the Texans winning four straight games against teams with losing records.The Ravens would finish the season winning one out of their last five games and looked like they were going to be bounced out of the playoffs fast.Not so fast -- head coach John Harbaugh was not having that from his team! He had an ace in his back pocket by the name of Ray Lewis.Lewis made an amazing recovery to lead his Ravens down the most difficult path to the Super Bowl that could have been taken.After they easily beat the Colts 24-9 during an emotional last home game for Lewis, the Ravens set out for their road trip to New Orleans by upsetting the Broncos 38-35 in overtime; then they dismantled Tom Brady and the Patriots in New England 28-13. The game was a lot worse than the score.It was only fitting for Super Bowl XLVII to have the power outage followed by a strong San Francisco surge in the 3rd quarter to send Lewis out of the league a Super Bowl champion.As for Super Bowl Champion and MVP quarterback Joe Flacco, only time will tell with him entering his first free agency period of his career.The Ravens are one of those teams facing a salary cap issue in 2013 and changes will have to be made. I could not imagine why the Ravens would not re-sign Flacco after a Super Bowl win but the way the modern day NFL is, loyalty runs as deep as the amount of digits on a paycheck.  No matter what jersey Flacco puts on during the 2013 season, he will always be remembered for the magical path he led the Ravens down with probably the greatest linebacker and team leader to ever play the game.
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