It's not outlandish to posit that the Baltimore Ravens galvanized their championship run against the Denver Broncos three weeks ago when an unflagging Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones on a far-fetched 70-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining.
Flacco has been lights out since that miraculous play, capping off his run by earning Super Bowl XLVII MVP honors in the Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Flacco has been carrying himself with the swagger of a franchise quarterback who was willing to gamble before the season that he was worth $20 million per season opposed to $16 million.
"(Ravens owner) Steve Bisciotti told me if this happens (winning Super Bowl), I can go pound on his desk and stick it to him," Flacco told NFL Network after the game. "That's exactly what I'm going to do."
For all of the nonsensical caterwauling over his "elite" status, Flacco proved to be on par with previous Super Bowl winners Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Flacco finished a masterful postseason with 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions to complement three consecutive passer ratings over 106.0. A quarterback now has won the Super Bowl MVP honors in four consecutive years, with Flacco following Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.
While Anquan Boldin physically dominated the 49ers' defensive backs, it's only fitting that Flacco took home the MVP award thanks to his ongoing penchant for taking chances deep down the field -- particularly on broken plays. No NFL quarterback was more aggressive or more effective on passes of 20-plus yards this season.
The Ravens are celebrating their second Super Bowl title thanks in large part to a confident, bold and accurate Flacco. Casual NFL observers might just be waking up to the capabilities of Flacco; they shouldn't be surprised if he's the highest-paid player in the NFL after Sunday's MVP performance.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.