A few sound bites from the CBS broadcasting team of Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (analysis) previewing Sunday's AFC Championship Game:
Nantz on Tom Brady as one of the greatest of all time: "Last weekend we were on-hand to see him pass [Joe] Montana for most wins in postseason play. So here he is trying to go to the Super Bowl in his sixth year out of 13 in the league. If he’s not the greatest quarterback of all time, I have a hard time finding you one who was greater. I think there were a lot of guys that are on an equal plane, but I think Brady, just numbers alone, wins alone, the most important category of all ... he certainly presents a pretty strong argument."
Simms on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco: "Joe Flacco plays in a system that’s what I call, and I don’t mean this to demean the staff at the Ravens, it’s not quarterback-friendly. It’s not about hitting a tremendously high percentage of your passes because look where he throws it. I mean, watch the game the other day. What team throws the football down the field like that? He doesn’t get a lot of screens. There’s not a lot of quick throws, there’s not a lot of gadgets. I take that into account when I do judge quarterbacks. I don’t know their numbers. I don’t care. I let my eye tell me what I know about them."
Simms on Flacco needing a Super Bowl appearance to earn accolades: "Yes, there’s no doubt. He’s going to have to go to the Super Bowl. Not only that, if he didn’t play well and they win the Super Bowl, then it’ll be, ‘Oh, well they overcame Joe Flacco.’ I don’t think I’m overstating it. It’s just the way it is. Players get labeled. That’s the story… When he plays well, no mention. When they lose? Oh, well they let Joe Flacco throw too much … But when Joe Flacco or any other quarterback makes an outstanding throw, to most fans and most people, it’s just another throw. They don’t realize that that throw was made by somebody maybe only five guys in the league can make. So maybe that’s a little unfair, but [the] premise is right. He’s got to win this week, win in the Super Bowl before he probably ever gets the accolades and the dues that maybe he deserves."
Nantz on linebacker Ray Lewis and Flacco: "[Lewis'] emotion is definitely a big part of what Baltimore’s doing right now. And not only that, but he’s fresh. I mean, he’s made 30 tackles in the last two games. I think in some ways, he’s looked better than he’s looked in a couple of years. He’s going out, whether it’s this week or down in New Orleans, playing some great football … Joe Flacco is starting to take over now as the leader of this team. Right before our very eyes, this is becoming Flacco’s team right now. And he’s stepping up and accepting that role. It’s a big reason why they’re able to pull off that comeback in Denver, and why they’re back in the AFC Championship Game."