The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

January 5, 2013

Eye on the Opponent: Flacco leads battle-tested Ravens to playoffs

Baltimore reaches postseason for fifth straight campaign

INDIANAPOLIS — Five seasons ago, Joe Flacco made his playoff debut as a rookie quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens.

He hasn’t missed the postseason since, compiling a 5-4 record and advancing to two AFC Championship Games. In all four postseasons, Flacco and the Ravens have been eliminated by the eventual conference champion.

So the NFL-record three rookie quarterbacks who will start playoff games on Sunday — Washington’s Robert Griffin III, Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Flacco’s own opponent, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck — would do well to listen to Flacco’s words of wisdom.

“You know there’s going to be a lot of people talking about playoff football and how it’s ratcheted up a notch, which may be true,” the Ravens’ signal caller said earlier this week during a conference call at the Colts’ training complex. “But the bottom line is, my advice would be, go about your business as you always would on a normal week. It’s obviously gotten you to the point that you’re in the playoffs and playing to get to another week. If it got you that far, then you’re obviously doing something right. So you should try to continue that. You shouldn’t try anything crazy just because it’s playoff time.”

Griffin and Wilson will discover the postseason together with the Redskins and Seahawks squaring off in the nation’s capital in Sunday’s late afternoon game.

But Luck has drawn the only opponent to make the playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

For all the abuse Flacco has taken from media and fans, he is a proven winner. The Ravens have a 54-26 regular season record with him under center, and Baltimore has won at least one playoff game in each of the past four seasons.

The Ravens are limping a bit as they enter this postseason with four losses in their past five games. Little of that can be pinned on Flacco, however, who has thrown eight touchdowns and just three interceptions during that stretch.

In the lone victory, a 33-14 demolition of the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants two weeks ago, Flacco was sensational. He completed 25 of 36 attempts for 309 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

But the season as a whole has been a mixed bag.

Flacco has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 3,817 yards with 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a middle-of-the-road quarterback rating of 87.7.

Former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell took over as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator for the final three regular season games after starting the season as the quarterbacks coach, and Flacco said the man who used to tutor Peyton Manning already has made an impact.

“Jim has been great ever since he’s been here,” Flacco said. “I think the biggest thing that he’s done for me and our offense, the communication level improves into something that we might not have had before.”

Whatever the case, there’s no doubt Flacco has the Colts’ complete attention.

“He can make all the throws,” Indianapolis cornerback Vontae Davis said. “He’s a good quarterback. He’s a guy that can win football games, put the game on his shoulders and win games. We’ve got our hands full. It’s going to be a good challenge for our defense.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0419 - Muller final - 077 Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.

    April 19, 2014

  • Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • PH pushes across only run in 7th

    After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout

    An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Indians scratch back into Muller final A young and inexperienced Anderson team again proved its mettle Friday in the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Indians (2-3), playing without several expected starters to open the season, clawed out a 10-6 victory against Lapel (2-2) at Memorial Field to advance to the championship game for the 10th time.

    April 18, 2014