With the game on the line, Flacco flourishes

PITTSBURGH - As Joe Flacco was poised to trot onto the field trailing by four with 2:24 to go, a song started pumping through the speakers at Heinz Field.

It started quietly, then gained volume as the TV timeout went on.

The tune dialed up by the stadium operations crew? Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name".

You know the one. Its chorus goes, "What's your name, little girl? What's your name?"

Mr. Flacco, I do believe the Steelers were calling you out, sir. And man oh, man, did Flacco respond.

The comeback started with a 21-yard completion to Anquan Boldin with just over two minutes left. Flacco then hit LaQuan Williams for 13 yards. Two plays later, he hit Boldin for 9 yards, then on fourth down, he connected with Boldin again for 10 yards, putting the ball at the Pittsburgh 30 with 48 seconds left.

Flacco hooked up Boldin yet again for 11 yards, and after two drops - one by Torrey Smith in the end zone and one by Boldin over the middle - Flacco bought some time and delivered a perfect deep ball to the back of the end zone which Smith reeled in for the game-winning score.

Ninety-two yards on 13 plays covering 2:16. A game-winning drive in Heinz Field against the NFL's No. 2 defense.

Who's the little girl now?

"This Steelers-Ravens game is a game for men," head coach John Harbaugh ironically said after the game. "It's a game for big men. You've got to shine bright in the stadium if you want to win this game. Nobody shined brighter than Joe Flacco in this game."

Overall, Flacco went 28-for-47 for 300 yards and the touchdown on the night. He lost a fumble in the fourth quarter - a turnover which initially looked like the key blow in what would be another crushing loss to Pittsburgh - but bounced back with the game on the line.

Given the situation, the odds, the opponent ... it was truly remarkable.

"For anybody that's a Raven, beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh is definitely big," Boldin said. "But it's the same thing (Flacco) did last year. We were down when we came here in the regular season, and he threw a touchdown to T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) to win it, so it's becoming familiar to him."

Coming off two straight rocky games against one-win opponents, Flacco, at least for a night, silenced his critics.

As inconsistent as this group is, who knows what type of performance Flacco and the Baltimore offense will deliver next week out in Seattle? They could come out and register just 200 total yards of offense and Flacco could put up another 18-for-50 type of stat line.

But for tonight, the fourth-year quarterback out of Delaware can savor the manner in which he led his team from what surely appeared to be another demoralizing defeat at the hands of the Steelers and brought them to one of their biggest regular season wins in quite some time.

"I'm really excited about this win right now," Flacco said. "What this really means to me is that we're 6-2. We beat Pittsburgh two times, and we put ourselves in a good position to win the division."

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