It’s becoming that the Baltimore Ravens are buying and selling quarterback Joe Flacco to Denver, the positioning of his most well-known go — the “Mile Excessive Miracle.”
Flacco’s playoff success in the end defines his legacy with the Ravens.
After arriving from Delaware — the minor leagues of soccer, Flacco would say — in 2008, he introduced stability and a Lombardi Trophy to a franchise that had modified quarterbacks virtually as typically because the Cleveland Browns do. With toughness, resiliency and a shrug-of-the-shoulders demeanor, Flacco turned a crew recognized primarily for protection right into a perennial playoff contender.
• Commerce grade: Why Broncos get low marks
• Broncos nonetheless want long-term QB resolution
• Flacco’s legacy outlined by playoff success
• Will commerce trigger ripple results in NFL?’
• Flacco’s clean handoff to Jackson
He led Baltimore to the playoffs in six of the 10 seasons during which he began a minimum of 10 video games. He guided the Ravens to a few AFC Championship Video games. And, in 2012, he carried the franchise to a Tremendous Bowl title by occurring a run solely matched by Joe Montana.
Flacco typically chuckled at these debating whether or not he was elite, as an alternative proving he was a winner on the most crucial time of the season. When the common season ended, “January Joe” — as followers would affectionately name him — repeatedly got here via for the Ravens.
Accidents and inconsistency with Flacco over the previous six seasons brought on the Ravens to draft his successor in Lamar Jackson in 2018. It led to an unceremonious finish for the winningest quarterback in Ravens historical past when Flacco injured his hip halfway via the season and Jackson went on to steer Baltimore to the playoffs.
A lot of the criticism of Flacco is what he isn’t. He isn’t a prolific passer like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. He isn’t an emotional chief like Tom Brady or Philip Rivers.
For Baltimore, Flacco was its blue-collar quarterback.
Joe Flacco had a historic playoff run in main the Ravens to a win in Tremendous Bowl XLVII. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports activities
He celebrated changing into the NFL’s highest-paid participant by going via a McDonald’s drive-thru for hen nuggets. He missed the beginning of his son in 2013 as a result of it occurred 30 minutes earlier than kickoff (Flacco led the Ravens over the Browns that day).
The Ravens fell in love with Flacco in a pre-draft exercise when he strong-armed throws within the rain and wind, revealing he can be an ideal AFC North quarterback. Workforce officers nonetheless needed to persuade proprietor Steve Bisciotti, who pushed for buying and selling up within the 2008 draft to take Matt Ryan.
From Flacco’s first recreation — when followers waved indicators “Wacko for Flacco” — he was the inspiration for the franchise’s most profitable period.
It’s straightforward to overlook the state of the crew’s quarterback place earlier than Flacco. He was underneath heart for a decade for a Baltimore crew that had gone via 15 beginning quarterbacks within the 12 years previous to him, from Vinny Testaverde to Troy Smith.
It’s typically neglected at how Flacco overcame a less-than-stellar supporting forged. Flacco produced 116 victories regardless of by no means having a No. 1 extensive receiver in his prime, missing an All-Professional working again since Ray Rice in 2013 and going via 5 offensive coordinators in seven seasons.
The one occasions Flacco bristled had been the performs the place the Ravens break up him out extensive and put one other quarterback underneath heart. Flacco was an underrated competitor and believed the very best likelihood to win was with the ball in his fingers.
Damien Woody calls Lamar Jackson’s playstyle “unorthodox” and contends that the Ravens will not achieve success in the event that they proceed to make use of him like that.
Maybe that’s why Flacco thrived when it mattered essentially the most, from these game-winning drives in Pittsburgh to the postseason. Since getting into the league in 2008, Flacco has received 10 playoff video games. Solely Brady has received extra over that span.
Flacco achieved this within the hardest conditions. He received postseason video games in Pittsburgh, Denver and Kansas Metropolis. Flacco topped Invoice Belichick twice in New England, and he would’ve received two AFC Championship Video games in Foxborough if Lee Evans had caught that last-minute landing go.
In his final 10 playoff video games, Flacco has thrown 24 touchdowns and 4 interceptions with a 104.1 passer ranking. He has thrown a minimum of two touchdowns in eight straight playoff video games, marking the longest streak in postseason historical past.
Flacco’s greatest moments got here in 2012, when he beat Peyton Manning along with his miraculous 70-yard landing go to Jacoby Jones after which outplayed Brady within the AFC Championship Sport. Flacco was named Tremendous Bowl XLVII Most Precious Participant after changing into the second quarterback to throw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in a single postseason (Montana was the opposite).
The Ravens rewarded Flacco by making him the highest-paid participant in NFL historical past. His downfall was by no means dwelling as much as that six-year, $120.6 million deal.
Flacco’s closing seasons had been disappointing and irritating due to the knee, again and hip accidents together with the lack to get Baltimore to the playoffs in his final three seasons because the full-time starter.
However the lasting reminiscence of Flacco in Baltimore ought to be how he raised his recreation when the stakes had been at their highest.