Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco feels “so fortunate” to be in Cleveland after leading the Browns to the play-offs for just the third time in 24 years.
Flacco starred once again, throwing for 296 yards in the first half alone, as the Browns secured a place in the post-season with a 37-20 defeat of the New York Jets.
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The 38-year-old was without a team in November but an injury to Deshaun Watson saw Cleveland reach out and he has delivered in spades, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to put up at least 250 passing yards and multiple passing touchdowns in each of his first five games with a new franchise.
“I’m just so fortunate to be on this team,” said Flacco, who played for the Jets across two stints between 2020 and 2022.
“We have a bunch of guys hurt and we’re still a really talented group. [Coach] Kevin [Stefanski] is calling a hell of a game every week. As a quarterback, you just get the ball to guys.
“It’s all about them winning and getting us in the right spot, so that’s what it is.”
Having gone unsigned during the off-season, it is a remarkable turn of events for Flacco.
Flacco ’round and find out pic.twitter.com/fgORpUXDzP
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 29, 2023
He added: “This is obviously a very unique situation for me, so a lot of different emotions are going through my head.
“The city has been so unbelievable. You can just tell they love football, and it’s special going out there and playing for them.”
Even the Jets were impressed by Flacco, with linebacker and former team-mate CJ Mosley telling ESPN: “Everybody always joked, even in Baltimore, was he elite?
“He’s showing it. Not a lot of guys, especially veterans like him and his age, just coming from home, hanging with his kids, do what he’s done. I told him after the game it’s crazy to hear the Browns fans screaming, ‘Flacco!’
“That was pretty wild to me, but I’m happy for him. Obviously we wanted to get the win, but just as a friend, as a fan, I’m definitely happy for him.”