Prior to this postseason, very few people believed Joe Flacco was capable of leading the Baltimore Ravens to a championship — let alone be named the Super Bowl MVP. Flacco was phenomenal against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, making their typically stout defense look average at best. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 124.2. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over.
Flacco’s numbers were certainly deserving of the award, but he wasn’t the only contender. The runner-up had to be Jacoby Jones, who caught only one pass but it was a 56-yard touchdown. He also took the opening kick of the second half 108 yards for a score, which turned out to be a crucial play as the Ravens won by three.
Then, there was Anquan Boldin. Boldin has been criticized over the past couple seasons for having decling skills and not being able to separate from defenders. That wasn’t an issue against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, and his recent success continued with six catches for 104 yards and a score in the Super Bowl. He may not be able to run by the average cornerback, but Boldin proved he is one of the best possession receivers in the game by bailing Flacco out on a couple of deep throws down the field in clutch situations.
As we have learned in the past, a quarterback has to play particularly poorly to not be named Super Bowl MVP. With all the criticism Flacco has faced coupled with his outstanding performance, it turned out to be a no-brainer. That being said, the Ravens needed a complete offensive performance to beat the Niners. And that’s exactly what they got.