July 23, 2024

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco walks from the podium during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

NFL wheel: Brown’s Joe Flacco’s finally hit a milestone in NFL recognition Season award show With well deserved prestige after…

I had the good fortune to travel to Los Angeles for the Browns vs. Rams game in the beginning of December.

When I purchased my ticket, I imagined an afternoon in which Stafford and the Rams would be facing the high-flying Browns, led by Nick Chubb, Deshaun Watson, and many others, at SoFi Stadium.

Rather, I took a seat in the back endzone at kickoff and was ready to see how much more Joe Flacco had left in him.

Cleveland had to punt on a third and 14, which had been an automatic screen, during their opening series. This time, Flacco snapped, turned to face left, and struck Amari Cooper with a so-called “Bang Eight Post.” He placed it exactly in the middle of the “2” on Cooper’s chest rather than just hitting him with a lovely throw.

I sat up a little bit straighter.

Fast forward three plays and Jerome Ford was rolling across the goal line after catching a 24-yard pass from the old veteran giving the Browns a 7-0 lead.

Clevelanders everywhere started to catch Flacco Fever.

For many reasons, this season should have been a lost cause. The Browns battled injuries everywhere, they went through five quarterbacks including one rookie and one XFL MVP. The defense was able to keep the team together early, but when push came to shove, Joe Flacco stepped in and saved the season for the Browns.

Flacco finished the season with 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns against eight interceptions in just six games. The final five games of the year he eclipsed 300 yards, something even he hadn’t accomplished in his career.

Although the year ended in disappointing fashion for the Browns, Flacco came to Cleveland and saved a season that had very little promise.

Time will tell if his days in Cleveland are over, which I expect them to be. But the month and a half that he gave us, Flacco will forever be a legend in Cleveland.

On Thursday Night he acquired yet another award, becoming the 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, the perfect ending to what was a magical run.

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