A little over a decade ago we were all rooting for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as he was the man tasked with leading the Flock to the promised land. And he did it smoothly, winning Baltimore their second Super Bowl in February 2013. These days, however, we better root against him.
The former Ravens quarterback has been so good for the Cleveland Browns since he signed with the team back on Nov. 20 that head coach Kevin Stefanski named Flacco the starter for the remainder of the 2023 season (per multiple beat reporters) following the Browns' 31-27 win against AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14,
When they named Flacco their starter a few days ago for the first time this season, the Browns became only the eighth team in NFL history to start four different quarterbacks in a single season. Not that they have suffered that much because of it, however, considering they are 8-5 through Week 14 and still in contention for a wild-card postseason berth at the very least.
Flacco, 38, made his home debut for the Browns on Sunday, completing 26-of-45 passes for a season-high 311 yards and three touchdowns against the Jaguars. Tight end David Njoku was the recipient of two of those, with wide receiver David Bell grabbing the third one.
Not only did Flacco earn his first win as a starter this season, but he also outperformed former no. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence (albeit he played injured) as the Jaguars QB completed 28-of-50 attempts for 257 yards and three touchdowns to no avail.
Flacco's brief tenure donning the Browns uniform has seen him throw for 565 yards and five touchdowns in just two starts. On Sunday, Flacco racked up his 100th career win, which is far from a joke as only 38 players in NFL history had reached that milestone before Sunday, with Flacco becoming the 39th member of that select club.
As the Browns currently hold the fifth seed in the AFC playoff standings, there is speculation that Flacco, known affectionately as "January Joe" for his postseason success, could potentially return to Baltimore as a member of an opposing team in the playoffs.
"It's unbelievable to be out there," Flacco said after the game, per CBS. "It's really a unique experience. I'm just trying to stay in the moment and be as grateful as possible and keep getting better."
It's going to be hard for Flacco to find a way to face their former team in Baltimore as both his current and past team have already played their two matchups this year. That said, there is still a chance both meet in the postseason if both clinch a berth by winning the division and qualifying via wild-card.