Joe Flacco looked tired, or maybe he was just bored. It was hard to tell.
He has prepared for three AFC championship games now, so perhaps the thrill factor — not that Flacco would admit to experiencing such a thing — has worn off.
As excitable Ravens running back Ray Rice stood behind the lectern Wednesday answering questions from a packed auditorium, Flacco sat off to the side waiting his turn. He fidgeted with his hands and stared mostly into space. He looked up occasionally, if only to see whether Rice was almost finished. A black Ravens cap sat snugly on Flacco's head, a few days of facial-hair growth on his face.
Four days earlier, he had rallied the Ravens from a late deficit with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, outplayed the great Peyton Manning and beat the heavily favored Denver Broncos in frigid temperatures. The week before that, he helped end Indianapolis Colts phenom Andrew Luck's uplifting season, and he will try to do the same Sunday tonight to the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady on the same stage as one of his best games as a pro.