Poll results: Why Ravens are in Super Bowl

January, 26, 2013
1/26/13
9:00
AM ET
Why are the Ravens playing in the Super Bowl next Sunday? According to this week's SportsNation poll, it's Joe Flacco.

Of the 7,529 votes, 44 percent selected Flacco as the biggest reason why the Ravens are in the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 seasons. In the playoffs, Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Ravens' offensive line was a distant second with 19 percent, and head coach John Harbaugh was third with 15 percent.

Here are selected comments from the AFC North mailbag:

Brendan from Washington: Joe Flacco. He is clearly the biggest reason why the Ravens are in the Super Bowl. The Ravens have made the playoffs for the past five years on the overall strength of their roster, but let's be serious: Joe Flacco has never played this well for a sustained period of time as he has in these first three postseason games.

Ken from Baltimore: Offensive line. Though the other four choices are all valid, the Ravens needed to score a good chunk of points to win all three playoff games. And nothing, I repeat nothing, good happens on offense without good line play. Trust me, Flacco would not have the same numbers if he was operating behind the line play level shown earlier in the season.

Brad from York, Pa.: Wide receivers. Flacco has played well, but the play of Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Ray Rice and company have made him look great. There are a whole ton of significant completions by the Ravens that most likely would have been incomplete or even possibly picked if thrown to a different group.

Lee from Reisterstown, Md.: Joe Flacco. He's been the engine of the Ravens this postseason. His decision making and leadership have been prime-time. The team has taken on his drive and dedication to win. Not taking anything away from Ray Lewis or our defense, but Joe has assumed the role as General.

Scott from Baltimore: I am a huge Ray Lewis and Flacco fan, but how can you not credit Harbaugh for the success this season? This guy is a strong leader. He motivates and enables everyone on the team to strive and achieve above their potential.

Sean from Richwood, W.Va.: I'm going with the Ravens defense on this one. Joe Flacco is no slouch, and had my Bengals passed like that, we'd possibly be heading to the Super Bowl too and for the same reason. Defense wins championships.

Lloyd from Baltimore: I voted for Flacco because he's done so well and been so underappreciated for so long. His performance in these playoffs has merely reinforced my observation that he tends to play his best against the best opponents.

Anthony from Charleston, W.Va.: It's gotta be John Harbaugh. It was such a gutsy move to make a major change on the offensive coaching staff so late in the year, and it's obviously paid huge dividends regarding production.

Dave from Springfield, N.J.: You need to make the poll "select all that apply." It is not one single thing that did it, and I think you'll be hard pressed to find a knowledgeable Ravens fan who disagrees.

Charles from Huntsville, Ala.: The Ravens made the Super Bowl in a large part due to the play of the revamped offensive line, and the play of Flacco. It is as clear as the nose on my face. If the coaching staff had the courage to put their best five offensive linemen on the field in Week 1, the team would have likely earned a No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

J.E. from Athens, Ohio: I clicked the offensive line option on the latest poll mainly because it's been much better than expected, but also because there was not an option for "luck."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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