The Ravens have not tried to disguise the obvious fact that the offense’s success in the last month has centered on running back Ray Rice.
But the postseason has also been the stage for quarterbacks to make names for themselves. Consider that in the last five Super Bowls, four of the Most Valuable Players have been quarterbacks.
So while Rice will continue to be the engine of the offense, the play of quarterback Joe Flacco could also be key.
Flacco, however, said he’s not concerned about proving himself to his critics in the playoffs.
“It’s our job – it’s my job as a quarterback – to take it one game at a time, and like I said, put our team in the best chance to win a game, or give us the ball with a chance to win the game at the end of the game,” he said. “And I think that’s all I can do every week, is come in here and do that and play my best. I think when it’s all said and done, yeah, playoffs are a big part of what makes great players, but if we were to think of what would happen if we lose, what would happen if we won, then it would make me [and] it would make our team go out there and play more tentative because we would be thinking about the results, the fallout of what could possibly happen. And we don’t need to be thinking about that. We need to be thinking on the task ahead, and that’s winning the football game.”
Flacco has fared decently in the postseason, compiling a 4-3 record as a starter. But he has thrown for more than 200 yards in just one playoff contest, registered four touchdowns against seven interceptions, and been sacked 13 times.
But center Matt Birk insisted that burden of the offense doesn’t rest squarely on Flacco.
“Obviously, Joe’s a big part of what we do. He’s our quarterback, he’s our leader. But we’ve got other guys, and we pride ourselves on being pretty balanced on offense,” Birk said. “So it’s certainly not all on him, and it’s not all on anybody. We’re a team. That’s what we’ve talked about from Day One. Everybody’s just got to pitch in and do their part. We don’t need anybody to be Superman out there. We just need everybody to do their jobs and take care of their business.”