From Comcast SportsNetNEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Quarterback Joe Flacco put off contract talks with the Baltimore Ravens until after the season was done.Seems like a terrific decision now, huh?Capping a perfect postseason, the unassuming and unheralded Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns Sunday, earning Super Bowl MVP honors for leading the Ravens to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.It was a back-and-forth game oddly interrupted more than a half-hour by a power outage."We gave the country a pretty good game to watch," Flacco said.Sure did his part, especially at the outset.Flacco set aside any questions about just how good he is and whether he belongs in the conversation about the league's best quarterbacks, becoming only the sixth in 47 Super Bowls to throw for three scores in a first half. He connected with Anquan Boldin for 13 yards, Dennis Pitta for 1, and Jacoby Jones for 56."Now they're gonna have to talk about Joe Flacco," center Matt Birk said. "Joe's a stud. He showed it tonight."Not just Sunday, actually.The admittedly mild-mannered guy, who played his college football far from the spotlight at Delaware, wrapped up Baltimore's four-game run to the title with a record-equaling 11 TD passes and zero interceptions, going 73 of 126 for 1,140 yards. It was an impressive streak that included road victories against two of the game's most respected QBs, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and a first-round home win against No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck."I'm a Joe Flacco fan. I've been a Joe Flacco fan," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who ended his 17-year career with a second championship. "To do what he did today, that's what we always see."Flacco's job in the second half Sunday was more about being safe than spectacular. He had helped Baltimore take a 21-6 halftime lead, and it grew to 28-6 when Jones returned the second-half kickoff a Super Bowl-record 108 yards.That is when things got strange.First, the lights inside the Superdome cut out, delaying action for more than a half-hour. And when play resumed, San Francisco quickly scored 17 consecutive points to make things interesting.The Ravens held on down the stretch though, with two short field goals by rookie Justin Tucker padding the lead, and the Lewis-led defense stopping the 49ers on a fourth-and-goal at the 5."I was sitting there thinking, There's no way. There's no way we stop them here,'" Flacco said. "But we did."Neither Flacco nor his team appeared to be ready to take on all comers as the regular season concluded.After all, the Ravens lost four of their final five games in the regular season to stumble into the playoffs.And Flacco, a fifth-year pro, finished only 12th in the 32-team NFL in passer rating at a merely passable 87.7 -- way behind league leader Aaron Rodgers' 108.0 -- while compiling 22 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.Middle-of-the-pack, to say the least.But he and his team definitely did shine when the results mattered most."I tell you what: We don't make it easy," Flacco said. "But that's the way the city of Baltimore is. That's the way we are."He simply becomes a different player in the playoffs. He set an NFL record for quarterbacks by leading his team to playoff wins in each of his first five seasons. He is 9-4 overall in the postseason.His contract is up now. And he could wind up with one of the biggest deals in NFL history, perhaps commanding somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million a year.There would have been an opportunity to sign something last offseason, but Flacco's agent and the Ravens could not agree on how much he was worth.The rest of the world wasn't really certain, either.Flacco delivered quite an answer Sunday."He's taken a lot of criticism over his career, for whatever reason," Pitta said. "But we've always believed in him. We've known the kind of player that he is. He's showed up on the biggest stage and performed."
FOXBORO -- The Patriots will hold their third OTA session of the spring on Thursday. It will be the first that is open to the media and will run for about two hours starting at 10:55 a.m.
Because the Bills made headlines this week with their media policies during OTAs, below is a quick reminder of what is allowed and what isn't at Gillette Stadium during OTAs.
The policies have gone essentially unchanged since last year. Live tweeting or blogging during the practice is prohibited during a closed practice like Thursday's, but tweets following the session are allowed. (During practices that are open to the public, like training camp sessions with fans in attendance, some live updates are permitted.)
Here are the rules in detail, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff . . .
Media attending practices during OTAs are asked to cooperate in observing the following practice policies:
1. Please do not report on strategy. This includes describing formations, personnel groups, first-team/second-team groupings and non-conventional plays.
2. Live streaming of any video during practice or open locker room periods to the Internet or any other social media platform while on team premises is prohibited.
3. Please do not quote, paraphrase or report the comments made by coaches or players during a practice session.
4. Please do not provide any live report updates during practice, this includes tweeting, blogging or posts to any social media platforms.
5. Please do not report on players who line up in positions different from the one listed on the roster.
If there are any questions regarding these policies during a practice session, please ask for clarification from a Patriots media relations representative in advance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
The Bills irked the Pro Football Writers Association earlier this week when it unveiled its new media policy for OTAs.
The team has prohibited referencing plays run or game strategy, including trick plays or unusual formations. It has also banned media members from reporting on personnel groupings, sub-packages, players who are practicing with individual units (first-team, second-team, goal-line offense, nickel defense, etc.), special plays, who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, quarterback completion percentage and other statistical information.
PFWA president Jeff Legwold wrote an email to the Associated Press this week that called the policy "a vast overreach of the guidelines in the [NFL’s] current media policy" and "not only unnecessary, it is not in compliance."
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies
BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies:
"I felt a little cramp. I'm fine. I appreciate John and everybody looking out (for me). We obviously don't want anything to happen like last year, but I'm good.'' - Dustin Pedroia, who left the game in the fifth after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring.
"It's nice to be able to get deep into the game. That's my goal every time. My goal is nine innings, so if I don't get nine innings, I'm a little disappointed because I want to be able to go out there and pitch as many innings as I can.'' - Steven Wright.
"I think my release point was just a little off. That definitely makes it hard, especially when it's moving, because it's not a consistent release point.'' - Wright on the early-inning unpredictability of his signature pitch.
"Even when I was catching, I pride myself on running. I want to be an athlete back there. I want to run the bases, steal bases, things most catchers aren't known to do.'' - Blake Swihart, who hit two triples.
* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 29 games.
* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
* David Ortiz tied Paul Molitor for 12th on the all-time doubles list with 605.
* Ortiz has driven in multiple runs in three straight games
* Dustin Pedroia has a career batting average of .340 in interleague play, the highest ever for someone with 500 or more at-bats.
* Travis Shaw drove in three runs and now has 68 RBI in his first 111 games since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice in 1974-75.
* Blake Swihart became the third Red Sox hitter this season to post two triples in the same game.
* The Red Sox clinched their fifth straight home series win.
* The Sox are 21-8 since April 24 and are 13-2 in their last 15 home games.
1) Steven Wright
Backed by some rare run support, Wright evened his record at 4-4 with seven-plus innings and his eighth quality start this season.
2) Travis Shaw
Shaw produced two hits and knocked in three runs, making him the fourth Red Sox player this season to reach 30 RBI.
3) Blake Swihart
Swihart got to flash both his power and his speed by hitting two triples to the triangle, motoring around the bases.