Browns announce QB Joe Flacco will remain starter for rest of 2023 season

ESPN: Kevin Stefanski in problem as browns QB ready to depart from the club.

Browns name Joe Flacco starter for rest of season after impressive outing - The Washington Post

Cleveland has its starting quarterback for the remainder of its season.

After turning back the clock with 311 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to lead the Browns to a 31-27 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday, 38-year-old Joe Flacco received the QB1 nod from head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Asked if he Flacco would be on top of the depth chart for the rest of the way, Stefanski gave the obvious answer after such a clutch performance: “Yes.”

“Played well,” Stefanski said regarding Flacco. “You expect him to get better as he gets more comfortable in our system with our players, those type of things. But we just talked about him and all our guys, doing their job, giving us their best, and I thought that’s what he did.”

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Flacco got Sunday’s game started off with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open David Njoku.

Three punts followed, but thanks to a Cleveland’s defense piecing together a first-quarter shutout, the Browns had the opportunity to go up two scores on their first possession of the second quarter, which again ended with a 30-plus-yard strike from Flacco to Njoku.

That was the theme of the game for the Browns, who often came alive in spurts under Flacco and were able to hold on against a late surge by the comeback-minded Jags.

“It was definitely an ugly game,” Flacco told CBS’ Evan Washburn. “Mistakes on both sides. Definitely didn’t play the cleanest game on my end, but I have a feeling that’s the way this team kind of likes it. They really react well in times like that. Listen, I’ve been here for a couple weeks, and I’ve been watching them on TV for the last bit, and that’s kind of what I’ve seen. Hey, we’ll take them any way we can get them.”

Although two of Flacco’s TD passes went to Njoku and another went to David Bell in the fourth quarter, his instant chemistry with Amari Cooper was also clear throughout.

The Browns new QB1 looked for the team’s WR1 on 14 different occasions, six more than any other pass catcher, and the duo turned that into seven catches for 77 yards.

Once the smoke cleared, the Browns moved to 8-5, Flacco became the fourth Cleveland QB this season to earn a win and Cleveland’s offense finished with 389 total yards — its most since Week 2.

It all bodes well for Cleveland, which is now in the AFC’s No. 5 seed with a full-game margin over multiple teams after the Steelers, Colts and Texans all fell.

In the past three weeks, Flacco has put back on an NFL uniform off the couch, twice been elevated from the practice squad to play and once reverted back to the practice squad.

He won’t be leaving the active roster now.

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