Ravens Take Shot at Joe Flacco After First Start With Browns

The Baltimore Ravens had a message for Cleveland Browns QB Joe Flacco after his first start.

Getty Images The Baltimore Ravens had a message for Cleveland Browns QB Joe Flacco after his first start.

Despite his history with the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco didn’t receive backing from his former team during his debut with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Flacco was a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2008 and played 11 seasons in Baltimore. He helped guide the team to a Super Bowl during the 2013 season, taking home MVP honors in the game.

Flacco is a legend in Baltimore but he’s now the enemy of the franchise he spent more than a decade with. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made that very clear with his comments on Monday, December 4.

“Of course I was rooting against Joe and the Browns,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what we did. I think it’s cool what Joe did. He looked really good but I couldn’t root for him yesterday.”

The Browns are chasing the Ravens in the AFC North standings. A win would have tightened up the division race but the Browns’ 36-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday has Cleveland two games back of the Ravens heading into Week 14.

The jab from Harbaugh is all in good fun. He previously wished Flacco the best after he signed with the Browns.

“That’s great for Joe. I saw that Joe said a few times that he wanted to play still and had plenty of juice left,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t doubt Joe. I never doubt Joe. He’s an ultimate competitor. So, we’ll see what happens.”

The Browns won’t see the Ravens again this season unless they face off in the playoffs. They split their season series, with the Browns taking the latest matchup, 33-31.

Joe Flacco Solid in First Action With Browns

Flacco completed 23-of-44 passes for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss. His lone mistake came at the wrong time in the fourth quarter. With 6:32 left in the game and the Browns down one point, Flacco threw up a deep ball looking for Elijah Moore. He was picked off by Rams safety John Johnson III, who returned it deep into Browns’ territory. The Rams flipped the turnover into a touchdown just a few plays later.

“Yeah, I’m just upset at myself,” Flacco said after the game. “Listen, I know I can play. I think every time you go take the field, you’re obviously proving to yourself and proving to other people that you can play the game but deep down I know I can play the game so that’s not my thought process at this point.

“My thought process is just disappointed in myself and these are the games that I honestly love to be in. They come down to the fourth quarter and they’re not pretty and they’re going to be tight. I think I excel in the games that are played tight and need to have good decisions be made. So to not come through in that kind of situation, it definitely stings a little bit.”

Browns Have Not Named Joe Flacco Starter

The Browns have yet to name Joe Flacco their starter going forward.

Getty ImagesThe Browns have yet to name Joe Flacco the starter this week.

The interception ruined what was a solid day for Flacco, who was a clear upgrade at the quarterback position over Dorian Thompson-Robinson or PJ Walker.

“I thought Joe did a nice job,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Monday, December 4. “We were sharp getting in and out of the huddle. We weren’t perfect. There were a few things that we did alignment-wise that weren’t great. But I thought Joe did a nice job in the huddle, which you’d expect from a veteran like Joe.”

Stefanski might have liked what he saw from Flacco but is not ready to name him the starting quarterback going forward.

“I’m not going to get into those types of things on Monday,” Stefanski said. “We’ll work through that.”

The other option would be Thompson-Robinson. However, the rookie is still in concussion protocol. Walker — who has started games this season — is No. 3 on the depth chart.

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