At the time, it seemed like a face-planted, body-prone, rock-bottom moment.

Instead, Joe Flacco turned his low point into a turning point.

In a Dec. 16 game against the Broncos, Baltimore trailed 10-0 late in the first half, but Flacco, the Ravens' quarterback, used a 43-yard pass play to Jacoby Jones to quickly maneuver his offense into a first-and-goal situation with about 30 seconds remaining.

With the ball at the Broncos' 4-yard line, Flacco threw an out pattern to Anquan Boldin, but Broncos cornerback Chris Harris stepped in front of the wide receiver at the 2 and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown.

Flacco gave chase and surprisingly nearly caught Harris, but a flailing dive inside the 5 came up empty. Instead of 10-7, it was 17-0 Broncos at halftime.

The image of a sprawled Flacco, his face buried in shame on the M&T Bank Stadium turf, was printed for posterity on the cover of The Baltimore Sun.

"I was tired from running 100 yards," Flacco said, smiling as he walked through the hallways of the Ravens' Hilton Riverside Hotel.