Now that the Ravens have been bounced from the playoff picture, we know where they'll fall in the draft picture.
Because they had the worse regular season record of the two teams to lose in the conference championships (the 49ers finished the season 13-3, while Baltimore was 12-4) the Ravens will hold the 29th overall pick in the 2012 Draft.
The only other time the Ravens have picked 29th overall was in 2007. That pick worked out fairly well for them; they selected guard Ben Grubbs, who ironically will be a free agent this offseason.
When Joe Flacco met with reporters in the Ravens' locker room today, he had a different look about him.
I don't mean that in any type of philosophical way, although a fellow reporter did say he personally noticed some more confidence or a sense of vindication in Flacco following his exceptional performance in yesterday's dramatic loss to the Patriots.
Flacco literally had a new look. He has shaved his Fu Manchu following last night's loss, leaving him without the unusual facial hair pattern for the first time since he started growing it just prior to Thanksgiving.
"I kind of think I look a little weird now," Flacco joked.
Now? Some might argue it looked a little weird before.
Flacco, who has one year left on his rookie contract, has said in the past that he hopes to eventually reach a long-term contract extension with the Ravens. A day after putting up arguably the best performance of his four-year career, the 27-year-old quarterback reiterated that message today.
"Definitely," Flacco said, when asked if he'd like to get an extension done this offseason. "We'll see how it goes. If it goes, it goes. If it doesn't, it doesn't."
Flacco's 2012 season was an interesting one. He seemingly regressed from a statistical perspective, as his 20 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown since his rookie year, his 12 interceptions matched his career-high, and his 3,610 passing yards are right in the same ballpark that he recorded during his sophomore and junior NFL seasons (3,622 in 2010 and 3,613 in 2009).
In addition, Flacco completed just 57.6 percent of his passes, by far the worst mark of his career.
At the same time, Flacco put up a couple huge games - the Week 1 and 9 games against the Steelers and yesterday's performance come to mind - and nearly carried the Ravens to an AFC title game on a huge stage.
I find it hard to believe Flacco won't get his extension at some point, but the question is when and for how much. The Ravens might prefer to give Flacco the type of deal that Ryan Fitzpatrick received from the Bills (reportedly a seven-year, $62 million contract), while Flacco's representatives could be looking for bigger money.
Regardless, Flacco believes he's earned the right to talk shop.
"I've said it all along: I think I'm the quarterback that I am," Flacco said. "I think the first four years that I've played here we've gone to the playoffs every time (and) won a game. I think the last two years that I've played in the playoffs, I've played well in the playoffs.
"And like I said earlier, I think when you watch the film and you're a guy in this organization, I think that you can say, 'Hey, he's played pretty damn good for us.' But like I said, you never know what's going to happen. So, we'll see."