NEW YORK (WFAN) — Andrew Luck. Peyton Manning. Tom Brady. Colin Kaepernick.
Joe Flacco outdueled all four quarterbacks — two rising stars and two tried-and-true greats — this postseason, the final win a Lombardi-clincher for the Baltimore Ravens against San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII.
What’s it all mean?
If you’re Ravens running back Ray Rice, it proves Flacco is the top quarterback in the NFL.
“You know what? If you had to put it in perspective right now, Joe Flacco is the best quarterback in football right now,” Rice told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Wednesday. “I’m not saying that because it’s my guy, but look who — he beat Tom Brady. He beat Peyton Manning. Who else is out there?”
Flacco was named the Super Bowl MVP on Sunday. And with free agency on tap, he’ll want to be paid like one.
“I’ve said it all along … we go as far as Joe Flacco wants to take us,” Rice said. “And this ride just proves it.”
But it almost all came apart after a 34-minute delay due to a partial power outage early in the third quarter. The Ravens went into halftime with a 21-6 lead and quickly stretched it to 28-6 before the Superdome went dark.
Baltimore’s offense was off the field for a total of 84 minutes.
“I’m just being honest. There’s no way you get your legs warmed up, back and ready to play,” Rice said. “I stretched. I did everything. … I didn’t feel good until like the fourth quarter, until they was making a rally.”
Rice fumbled in the third quarter, the 49ers recovered and converted a field goal to cut the lead to 28-23. Baltimore would eventually win a too-close-for-comfort 34-31 thriller.
Rice admitted the outage “absolutely” affected his team.
“I wasn’t going to look for any excuse. That’s not me, I’m a man,” Rice told Boomer and Carton. “But did that affect our momentum? Absolutely it did.”
And here’s something you don’t hear every day. Rice said he was so engaged with the fans in Baltimore during Tuesday’s parade that he took a spill off his float, caught himself “in the push-up position, got back up and said ‘Let’s party.'”
“Hey I’ve gotta tell you a funny story,” he said. “You know, the float stopped short and I fell off of it, but I caught myself. I’m good though. I’m telling y’all that because y’all are my boys. Ray Rice has no injuries. I fell off the float, but I’m good.”
Let’s hope his victory lap at home in New Rochelle, N.Y., is less eventful — at least in the falling-off-a-float sort of way.
The hometown hero said he’d be stopping by Spectators Sports Pub on North Ave. on Friday night. On Saturday, Rice will be the guest of honor during a victory rally on the front steps of New Rochelle City Hall.
Rice hopes Carton, a fellow New Rochelle High School graduate, will be able to make the festivities.
“My high school team won the state championship and I won the Super Bowl. What a great year for New Rochelle,” Rice said. “It just shows that there are some great talents that come out of New Rochelle, including yourself (Carton), ’cause we’re all doing something positive with our life, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Flacco — top quarterback in football?! Make your case in the comments!