NEW ORLEANS - Joe Flacco told us he was good. And now we believe him.
The Most Valuable Player in Sunday's Super Bowl had a whirlwind day on Monday: big news conference in the morning, the requisite trip to Disney World in the afternoon and an evening visit scheduled with David Letterman, all the trappings of modern NFL celebrity encapsulated in one sweetheart of a day after.
When the Baltimore Ravens' field general suggested last spring that he was an elite quarterback there was a lot of polite coughing, except where there were outright guffaws. How could a quarterback who'd never been to a Pro Bowl, let alone a Super Bowl, think he was elite?
Now we know: Flacco's playoff performance compares favorably with Joe Montana, and one of Sunday's Super Bowl advertisements had fun comparing Montana to a deity.
Flacco threw 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions during these playoffs, just like Montana in the playoffs following the 1989 season. That includes Flacco's 287-yard, three-touchdown showing in Sunday's 34-31 victory against Montana's ancestral team, the San Francisco 49ers
Add it all up and Flacco is in the driver's seat - not only of the 2014 Corvette Stingray bequeathed to the game's MVP, but in talks for a for more lucrative pact from his team. Flacco gambled on himself when he tabled a long-term contract offer before the season - and won big.
He joked after Sunday's game about pounding on the desk of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
"Me and Steve have had some good talks through the last few months," Flacco said. "I'm pretty optimistic. But who knows? This is a great organization. I love being here. It's a great city. I don't anticipate any problems."
It doesn't sound like Bisciotti does, either.
(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)