BOSTON (CBS) – CBS Sports NFL Analyst Phil Simms will have the call of the Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship game on Sunday, and joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo on Thursday to preview the big game.
The confident Ravens will come into Gillette Stadium looking for some revenge from last year’s AFC Championship loss. What is one of the winning elements of playoff football that will likely show up come Sunday afternoon?
“Coaches can’t be afraid, players can’t be afraid. You have to be some-what daring; you might have to take some risks,” answered Simms. “When you have to run it to win a game, can you get it done? If you have to throw it at the end of the game, can you get it done?”
“It’s doing the obvious when it’s there; can you do that? That’s the big thing about a Super Bowl champion and a playoff team. We’ll see how it works out,” said Simms.
There has been a lot of criticism of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who has won at least one playoff game in each of his five seasons in the NFL. But after his stellar performance last Saturday against the Denver Broncos, is Flacco closing the gap between himself and the other elite quarterbacks in the league?
“Was he there last year in the championship game? If Lee Evans catches the ball, is he there? You say his performances are up and down, I watched every game, and I’ll admit there are a few weeks he didn’t strike the ball 100-percent, but there are very few of those games,” said Simms. “He doesn’t run a QB friendly offense down in Baltimore. He hasn’t won that game that has given him the pizazz or aura. I don’t want to be a defender of Joe Flacco, but what he does on the offensive side, very few quarterbacks can do.”
“His numbers are never going to get to where you guys are going to go ‘wow, he is something special.’ That’s not the way they’re running that football team and he has to live with that,” said Simms. “He has the talent to overcome it, because you almost have to be a veteran guy to learn to accept your role in that type of offense.”
“The only way he’s going to get that respect is if he plays well and beat the Patriots, plays well and win the Super Bowl,” said Simms. Then they’ll go ‘I guess he’s OK with the Ravens.’ But even then I doubt he’ll get the accolades quarterbacks get after they win Super Bowls.”