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John Harbaugh: Joe Flacco is NFL's best quarterback

PITTSBURGH -- John Harbaugh was in the perfect position to double down on his beliefs that he has the best quarterback in football.

They are not popular beliefs, of course, and there's a good chance Harbaugh himself would snag another if he had a choice and no personal feelings to consider.

But after a win against the Steelers in Pittsburgh? After Joe Flacco was efficient and cool for four quarters? Now is the time for the victory lap, especially after the reaction he received for saying it just a few days prior.

"Joe Flacco, what can you say?" Harbaugh said. "I think he had a perfect quarterback rating there in the third quarter. That's playoff football. That's Joe Flacco. He is the best quarterback in football. We will take him any day of the week. Twice on Sunday or Saturday night, if that be the case."

Flacco is now 10-4 in the postseason. He has 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's completed more than 55 percent of his passes. Over his last nine postseason appearances, he has just two picks.

But the discussion will never rest there. Not in a day in age where elitism is mandated from quarterbacks. No one can ever just * be * Flacco, who is still only two weeks shy of his 30th birthday.

"He's just Cool Joe," Terrell Suggs said. "The situation may change but we don't. Joe doesn't change. That's his game."

That's why, in some twisted way, backing into the playoffs was a blessing. Nothing was expected of Flacco and the No. 6 seed Ravens. Few people know -- or care -- that he stuck his head in a huddle last week while the team was slogging through a 3-3 tie with the Cleveland Browns and simply said: "Let's go win this (expletive) game."

They did. They did with Joe being Joe.

Few people will give him the credit he deserves for the darts he threw on third down Saturday that simply moved the chains. The placement on a Torrey Smith slant on a third-and-14 to start the third quarter was close to perfection. So was the drop over Brice McCain's shoulder that resulted in a monster gain by Steve Smith.

"I was trying to make the play in between two guys and Joe did a real good job of giving me that opportunity," Smith said.

Regardless of what Harbaugh calls it, regardless if Flacco's effortless postseason numbers warrant the Joe Montana comparison it's attached to, it was good enough for another win in the playoffs.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Wild Card game and looks ahead to the Divisional Round. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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