- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Quarterback Joe Flacco's game-winning touchdown pass to Marlon Brown on Sunday just didn't keep the Baltimore Ravens' playoff hopes alive. It made him the winningest quarterback over the first six seasons of an NFL career.
The Ravens' 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings was Flacco's 61st in the regular season. This moved him over Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had 60 victories in his first six seasons (2004 to 2009).
While Flacco doesn't put up the passing numbers of a $100 million quarterback, he continues to excel in the category that most quarterbacks are judged by -- wins.
"Joe [Flacco] is our guy, and to me, that’s all you really need to say," coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday's game. "I love him, and I respect him, and I think he is a great player. I always have.”
Flacco set the wins mark in dramatic fashion. He did so by producing his 18th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime.
After the Vikings took back the lead for the third time, Flacco drove the Ravens 80 yards in the final 45 seconds for the victory.
Was it difficult for Flacco not to get swept up in the see-saw of emotions?
"You get a little bit low, but it’s more just shock," said Flacco, who finished 28-of-50 for 245 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. "Rather than low, you get pissed [thinking], ‘Are you kidding me? How did this happen?’ You take the field, and you see what you can do. Was it unlikely that we win this game today? Probably, but we did.”
Before the Ravens drafted Flacco in the first round of the 2008 draft, they went through 15 starting quarterbacks in the franchise's first 12 years of existence. No Ravens quarterback before Flacco won more than 20 games.
Flacco has been the Ravens' only starting quarterback for the past six seasons and improved his regular-season record to 61-32.