NEW ORLEANS -- There always has been a debate whether Baltimore's Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. This will only heat up after Flacco led the Ravens to the Super Bowl title and won the game's Most Valuable Player award.
What can't be argued is Flacco's numbers in the playoffs. They're elite. When statistics put your name in the same sentence as Joe Montana, there's no question that you're in a different class.
Flacco threw 11 touchdown passes in these playoffs, tying the NFL single-postseason record shared by Montana (postseason after 1989 season) and Kurt Warner (postseason after 2008 season). Flacco and Montana did not throw an interception during those postseasons.
"Joe Montana has been my favorite quarterback," Flacco said. "So to be put anywhere next to him is pretty cool."
His Total QBR of 95.1 was seven points higher than any other Super Bowl performance in the Total QBR era (since 2008), according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was better on the biggest stage than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady or either of the Manning brothers.
Flacco was 7-of-13 for 171 yards and two touchdowns on passes longer than 10 yards downfield in the Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also completed 7 of 10 third-down passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
"I told him [Saturday night that if you want to be elite, you have to win the Super Bowl," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "And he did. Joe Flacco is elite in my book."