When the playoffs began a few weeks ago there was no shortage of bold predictions coming out of the mouths of the top NFL analysts in the country.
Most would have said that the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos would meet in the AFC Championship game where Tom Brady and Peyton Manning would meet up for the chance to play in the Super Bowl. There were clearly two top dogs in the AFC and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that either the Broncos or the Patriots would be representing the AFC in the Super Bowl.
There were also some who believed that this was the Houston Texans year. With a strong defense and a powerful offense this seemed to be the year that the Texans would break through.
But certainly, no one in their right mind would have picked Baltimore, right?
I mean, how could they? Sure, you expect the Ravens to beat the Colts on Wild Card weekend, but there is no way they could go into Denver and take out Manning and the number 1 ranked Broncos. And even if they got past Denver, do we really think that the Ravens can go into New England and knock off the mighty Patriots who were 4-0 all time in home AFC Championship games?
But seriously, did anyone really believe that Joe Flacco could lead the Ravens into Denver and New England to bring his team to the Super Bowl? Flacco has been in two AFC Championship games and has come up short in both. Just last season he lost the AFC Championship game in New England, the same exact place they played this Sunday.
Not to mention that the Ravens have had a very crazy season. All season long they have been dubbed the “worst good team” or the best bad team” in the NFL, did anyone honestly believe that the Ravens were going to make it to the Super Bowl when the playoffs began?
They practically backed into the playoffs, going 1-4 in the last five games of the season to just barely beat out the surging Bengals for the divisional crown. But they have proven that everything changes in the playoffs, once you are in the postseason the regular season is history.
Still, I find it hard to believe that the same team that somehow found miraculous — and even sometimes lucky —ways to win games during the season would take out the top two teams in the AFC and earn their bid for the Super Bowl.
Flacco played the game of his life in New England with 270 yards through the air, three touchdowns and no interceptions. While the Ravens defense held Brady to only one touchdown and forced two interceptions. Brady being outplayed in an AFC Championship at home? Maybe, but to Joe Flacco? Give me a break.
But Flacco finally answered his critics, his next step is to claim that ring and earn the extension he is looking to sign. This year’s edition of the Super Bowl will be like no other, with the Ravens matching up against the 49ers we also get to see brothers Jim and John Harbaugh face off as head coaches for the Super Bowl.
Most fans may have wanted to see offensive powerhouses like New England and Atlanta go at it in the Super Bowl, but these two defensive teams should put on a show.
The Ravens may have won a few games by luck or other means throughout the regular season, but they have certainly earned their bid in the Super Bowl with their play in the postseason, they have certainly turned it around.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to