On Wednesday, New York Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh announced Joe Flacco would start Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury during the preseason that will force him to miss at least the first three games of the season. In turn, that propels Flacco to be the starter against his longtime team.
Coach Saleh says that likely the earliest QB Zach Wilson will be available is Week 4 at Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/3buMD5xqTb— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 7, 2022
Flacco was drafted by Baltimore in the 2008 NFL Draft with the No. 18 overall pick. Flacco started for the ensuing seven seasons without missing a game, starting 122 consecutive games until he suffered a knee injury against the then St. Louis Rams in 2014. Flacco led the Ravens to the postseason in each of his first five seasons, playing in three AFC Championships in that time, winning one, and ultimately quarterbacking the Ravens to their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history. Flacco was named the Super Bowl MVP with a three-touchdown performance, his third consecutive of that postseason, which capped off one of the greatest playoff performances in NFL History.
Flacco was then given an extension following the end of his rookie contract, $120.6 million, which is still the largest contract Baltimore has handed out in their history. The Ravens would only return to the postseason once more with Flacco behind center, in 2014, when the Ravens fell four points short of a fourth conference championship appearance. Flacco suffered a catastrophic knee injury in 2015 that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. The Ravens narrowly missed postseason appearances in 2016 and 2017 before drafting quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Flacco started the first nine games of the 2018 season before suffering a hip injury. Lamar Jackson started in Week 11 and Baltimore never looked back.
Flacco was then traded to the Denver Broncos following the 2018 season, where he started the first eight games of the season before suffering slipped discs in his neck and back which sidelined for the remainder of the season. The Super Bowl MVP has started five games across two seasons with the New York Jets since.
Flacco has beaten 30 of the 32 NFL teams in his time as a starter, with the Seattle Seahawks and Ravens as the two he’s yet to vanquish. Flacco will face the Ravens Sunday for the first time in his career. He’s still the franchise leader for a quarterback in starts, wins, postseason wins, passing yards, passing touchdowns among many other categories. While Flacco’s best days are certainly behind him, it makes for an exciting matchup as the NFL kicks off a new season.