Joe Flacco Likely to Start for New York Jets Against Baltimore Ravens

When ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on New York Jets Quarterback Zach Wilson's successful knee surgery this past Tuesday, Jets fans everywhere sighed in relief. Yet, lost in the renewed optimism for the year was an interesting note: out of an abundance of caution, the Jets planned to start Joe Flacco in the season opener:
The Baltimore Ravens, of course, are where Flacco started his career. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career there, passing for 38245 yards across his 163 starts and compiling a record of 96-67. More importantly, he led the franchise to its second championship, winning Super Bowl MVP and tying a record by throwing 11 touchdowns in a single post-season. But Flacco could never undo the perception that he was only a statuesque, immobile game manager. He never quite got the credit he deserved for his excellent play in the 2012 playoffs because people remembered the Ravens of his era as a defense-first team. They were never better than 8th in points scored during his tenure, and he never exceeded 4000 yards passing in a winning season.

Then along came Lamar Jackson with his promises of dynamic dual-threat play, and Flacco was shown the door. Jackson immediately transformed the Ravens offense; they were even the highest-scoring team in the league during his incredible 2019 MVP campaign. Finally, Ravens fans had the exciting quarterback they'd dreamed of. Except it might have cost them the postseason success they previously took for granted: the Ravens are 1-3 in the playoffs under Jackson. During Flacco's tenure, they were 10-5.
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That's not all on Lamar Jackson, of course. But he does bear some responsibility for the 5 interceptions, 19 sacks, and 5 fumbles he has committed in just 4 postseason contests. You can't blame the defense when you're piling up negative plays and only scoring 13.25 points per game.

Jackson has time to right the ship. Playoffs are a small sample size, and trends can quickly be reversed: Matthew Stafford was 0-3 in the playoffs before winning it all with the Los Angles Rams just last year. But with Flacco lighting it up at Jets camp, Ravens fans might have a bitter pill to swallow if he extends his promising play into the regular season. And if Jackson doesn't start winning in the playoffs? Well, maybe Ravens fans will stop taking for granted what Flacco achieved for them. Rings don't come easy.
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