Joe Flacco It was to turn out exactly as he had told us.

Most of us held back a muffled laugh when Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, told us back in early April that he didn't just consider himself a top five quarterback.


Instead he said that he was the best. A staggeringly bold claim, when you consider the lofty company he was being comparing himself with.

Now lets get this straight. I don't like the term "elite". Its only come about since Eli Manning's first Super Bowl win and the media making the use of his first name to create something that is used quite freely when discussing a quarterbacks status.

For the sake of this article I will use the term though as that is how this story evolved during the season.

Elite quarterbacks then. Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers. Names that would fall into this category quite easily. As of last April - Joe Flacco? No.

Now after the season hes just had, and the playoff run hes on it would seem that he is deserving to be called elite. Even if he doesn't win next week. His performances in the playoffs have been worthy of more in the past, and this season he has got his reward.

Lets rewind, then, to last April when he was asked where he felt he was in terms of being amongst the best in the league.

"I assume everybody thinks they're a top-five quarterback. I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way. I mean, c'mon? That's not really too tough of a question. That doesn't mean that things are going to work out that way. It just means that's the way it is -- that's the way I feel that it is and that's the way I feel it should be."

So it wasn't much of an outlandish statement. More one of confidence and knowing his own ability.

I would say that's fair enough. It wasn't cocky, brash, or arrogant. Merely a comment that suggested - 'hey watch out for me, cos if i'm given the right chance i'll be there' - and he has been and will be there at the biggest game of them all next week.

We could be forgiven for thinking it was one of the above 'elite' players that went toe-to-toe with Peyton Manning in Denver, then outgunned Tom Brady in New England.

No, that was Joe Flacco out there. On the road. Winning again.

Whatever happens next week hes pretty much cemented a hefty payday with the Ravens.

One more game then, the claim that he is the best in the league is just 60 minutes away.