After the Ravens lost to the Texans 43-13 on Oct. 21 at Reliant Stadium, Baltimore fans and media blasted quarterback Joe Flacco and ripped the team for considering giving him a multiyear contract.

After he threw three touchdown passes to lead the Ravens to a 34-31 victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Flacco might be as popular in Baltimore as the late Johnny Unitas.

Flacco was voted Most Valuable Player after completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards. His quarterback rating was 124.2.

"I don't think this is going to settle in for a while," said Flacco, whose contract has now expired. "We don't make anything easy. It was a hard-fought game on both sides. I think we gave the country a pretty good game to watch."

In elite company

Flacco had one of the greatest playoff performances in NFL history. In leading the Ravens to victories over Indianapolis, Denver, New England and San Francisco, he threw 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Flacco joined Joe Montana (1989) and Kurt Warner (2008) as the only quarterbacks in history to throw as many as 11 touchdown passes without an interception in the postseason.

In the playoffs, Flacco was 73-of-126 (57.9 percent) for 1,140 yards and a 117.2 rating.

Flacco has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his five seasons. He has a 9-4 playoff record, and he tied Tom Brady for the most playoff victories for a quarterback in his first five seasons.

The victory over the 49ers wasn't secured until the Ravens had a late defensive stand that kept San Francisco at the Baltimore 5-yard line.

Win suits their style

"It was fitting that we won that way," Flacco said. "We're a tough, blue-collar city, and that's the way our games sometimes go.

"We were up 28-6. I'm sure a lot of people were nervous but were kind of like, 'This one might be pretty easy.' The next thing you know, the Niners got back in it, and we had to grind it out."