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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Joe, Cool and the Gang


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THE QUARTERBACK charged with reviving the Ravens' offense spent his first days as a rookie sleeping on an air mattress. Joe Flacco still doesn't have his own ride—he's driving a loaner BMW. And what about the morning of Flacco's regular-season debut, when he bummed a lift to Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium from his parents? "I can just hear the conversation," says K.C. Keeler, Flacco's college coach at Delaware. "'Joe, give your mom a kiss before you go to work.'"


If much about the 23-year-old Flacco is a little green, his game on the field is all grown up, and the Ravens may finally have a franchise quarterback to go with their all-world defense. In Baltimore's 27--9 throttling of Miami at Dolphins Stadium on Sunday—a game highlighted by the defense's five takeaways, including safety Ed Reed's two interceptions—Flacco coolly directed the offense, playing mistake-free football and scoring the final touchdown on a five-yard quarterback draw. By the end of wild-card weekend he and the Ravens were pointing confidently toward Nashville for an AFC divisional playoff against the top-seeded Titans. And Flacco was one up on fellow first-year quarterback Matt Ryan of Atlanta, the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year.



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