Bad injury luck continues for the Cleveland Browns heading into Week 13’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Browns will start veteran NFL journeyman (and Super Bowl MVP) Joe Flacco on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. Flacco will be the fourth starting QB for the Browns this season. The team added Flacco on November 20th, a day before Deshaun Watson underwent season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.
In 2022, Flacco started the year off as the New York Jets starter while Zach Wilson was injured. He played in the team’s first three games and the season finale. In those games, he threw for 1051 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. The 38-year-old will now get the first crack at his 16th season in the league and it will be his first game playing against a Sean McVay-led Los Angeles Rams team.
While the Browns have cycled through quarterbacks because of injuries, those quarterbacks struggled to get this offense moving. If Flacco still has some play in him, his veteran presence and leadership will be a steadying force at the very least. But that is a big ‘if.’ 2017 was the last time Flacco was a bonafide starter in the NFL.
How Will Flacco Starting Affect The Los Angeles Rams?
The one good thing about starting Joe Flacco for the Browns is that there is no tape on what other offense will look like with Flacco at the helm. So the element of surprise is in their favor. But there is also 15 seasons worth of tape of Joe Flacco and what he is capable of. With Deshaun Watson and Dorian Thompson-Robinson, there was the added rushing threat that they brought. That won’t be a concern for the Rams with Flacco.
With a quarterback new to a system, teams will often lean more into their rushing attack. The Browns already run the ball at a high rate, the highest in the league. This game plan could tilt the game in the Browns favor. The Rams haven’t been terrible against the run, but they have struggled to match teams that play physically for all four quarters of a game.