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4 insane Joe Flacco stats that capture his absurd Cleveland Browns’ tenure

Joe Flacco
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have won games with four different starting quarterbacks this season, including the only player in NFL history with a fully-guaranteed $200 million contract. While they’ve all won games in Cleveland, Joe Flacco is the Browns’ legend.

Flacco sealed a Browns’ playoff berth on Thursday Night Football with a victory over the New York Jets. In the process of beating his former team, Flacco made NFL history and added to a dominant run like we’ve seem from no other in-season free-agent signing before.

  • Joe Flacco career stats: 43,936 passing yards, 245 passing touchdowns, 61.6% completion rate, 6.8 yards per attempt, 84.2 QB rating

“I basically extended my offseason and stayed in the gym. In terms of throwing the football I was doing it two or three times a week. I was throwing with my younger brother and my dad was out in the field catching for us”

Joe Flacco on The Pat McAfee Show

With the context of what Flacco did to keep himself NFL-ready for the day a team would call, let’s dive into the stats that capture his brilliance in Cleveland.

Joe Flacco closing in on NFL history

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco hasn’t just been good for the Browns’ offense, he’s turned it into something new. Before making his debut with the team in Week 13, Cleveland averaged 181.2 passing yards per game with a 63.4 QB rating, 55.5 percent completion rate and 0.8 passing touchdowns per game. In five weeks with Flacco, the Browns’ offense is averaging 312 passing yards and 2.6 passing touchdowns per game with an 88.6 QB rating and 60.4 percent completion rate. However, that’s not the stat we’re highlighting.

Entering NFL games today, Flacco has thrown for 1,603 passing yards in December. He’ll likely shatter the record books in Week 18. As noted by Doug Clawson, the current NFL record for most passing yards in a month is 1,755, set by Peyton Manning in December 2013. Flacco, 39 in January, should break that mark in the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joining Hall of Fame company in a single month

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Rams
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Flacco might not be a Hall of Famer, unless he wins a Super Bowl with the Cleveland Browns, but he has accomplished something only done by Hall of Fame quarterbacks and another one of the greatest passers in NFL history. Best of all for Cleveland fans, it’s something even Tom Brady can’t claim.

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As highlighted by Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, Flacco became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 1,600-plus yards with 13-plus passing touchdowns in a single month. He joins Patrick Mahomes (2018, 1,630 and 13), Jim Kelly (1991, 1,644 and 14) and Peyton Manning (twice). Not Brady, not Aaron Rodgers, not Josh Allen. Flacco is only the second quarterback to join this club since 2019.

Joe Flacco breaks a stunning streak for the New York Jets defense

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest celebration from Thursday’s victory over the New York Jets came from Cleveland celebrating its playoff berth. However, Flacco should also be celebrated even more after taking on one of the NFL’s best defenses on a big stage and snapping a streak of dominance from Robert Saleh’s defense.

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Before Flacco’s 303-yard performance against New York, the Jets went 33 consecutive games without allowing a 300-yard passer, per Conner Hughes. Of course, this is even more remarkable because Cleveland played without No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper, with Flacco spreading the ball around to seven different pass-catchers.

Climbing up the Cleveland Browns’ leaderboard

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s remember, Flacco was signed by Cleveland out of desperation. The Browns are all-in this year, needing to maximize the talent on their roster while they can still afford it. Flacco didn’t just keep the Browns’ playoff hopes alive, he delivered renewed hope to this franchise. After decades of bad luck at quarterback, Flacco is also quickly climbing the leaderboards in team history, too.

In just five games, Flacco ranks 33rd all-time in Browns’ history for passing yards. As for those decades of quarterback purgatory, as discovered by Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Flacco already ranks 18th among the Browns’ last 37 starting quarterbacks since 1999 in passing yards. If he throws for 300-plus yards in Week 8 against Cincinnati, Flacco will pass Johnny Manziel (1,675), Jeff Garcia (1,731) and Brady Quinn (1,902) on the Browns’ all-time passing leaders list.

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