||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (September 2014)|
Flacco in 2008
No. 5 Baltimore Ravens
|Date of birth:January 16, 1985|
|Place of birth: Audubon, New Jersey, U.S.|
|High school: Audubon (NJ)|
|NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18|
|Debuted in 2008 for the Baltimore Ravens|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2014
Joseph Vincent "Joe" Flacco (born January 16, 1985) is an American football starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Delaware after transferring from the University of Pittsburgh. He was the 18th overall pick by the Ravens in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
In his rookie year, Flacco started every game and led the Ravens to two road wins in the 2008–09 NFL Playoffs, becoming the first rookie quarterback in league history to win two road playoff games, while also setting the record for most wins by a rookie starting quarterback with 13. In his second season, he improved his numbers, setting single season franchise records for completion percentage (63.1) and quarterback rating (88.9), and in his third season he became first all-time in Ravens history for passing yards and passing touchdowns. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. With Flacco as Baltimore's starting quarterback, the Ravens have won the AFC North twice, appeared in three AFC Championship Games, and defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Flacco was named Super Bowl XLVII's MVP, concluding a postseason run in which he tied Joe Montana's single postseason record for touchdown passes (11) without an interception. That offseason, Flacco signed a six-year contract worth $120.6 million, a record high for a quarterback at the time.
Flacco is known for his low-key demeanor and calm during games, giving him the nickname "Joe Cool" and reportedly having the strongest arm in the NFL, which allows him to use an "aggressive, high-risk deep downfield passing game."
- 1 Early years
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
He played football, baseball and basketball at Audubon High School and was the starting quarterback for the Green Wave. The Flacco family is originally from Haddon Township, New Jersey. Regarded as a three-star recruit [clarification needed] by Rivals.com, Flacco was listed as No. 39 among quarterback prospects in the class of 2003.
In 2003, Flacco was redshirted as a freshman for a team that went 8-5.
In 2004, he was the backup quarterback finding limited playing time behind starter Tyler Palko. He only saw action in three games against Ohio University, University of Nebraska, and the University of South Florida. He finished the season with one completion for 11 yards.
Flacco saw his first full-time action during the 2006 season. Playing for Fightin' Blue Hens Flacco threw for 2,783 yards, and 18 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.  Delaware struggled to a 5–6 record, and failed to qualify for the FCS playoffs.
In the 2007 season, Flacco led his team to an 8–3 regular season record while compiling 4,263 yards, 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He was considered one of college football's most accurate passers in 2007.[unreliable source?] Arguably his best game came against Division 1-A Navy where he threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns. Flacco showed another solid performance in the first-ever meeting against the Delaware State Hornets in the first round of the playoffs. Behind Omar Cuff's record-setting day, Flacco threw efficiently for 189 yards and a touchdown, leading the Blue Hens to an easy 44–7 victory. Flacco continued Delaware's playoff run by upsetting the Northern Iowa Panthers 39–27 in the FCS quarterfinals and upsetting the Southern Illinois Salukis 20–17 the next weekend in the semifinals. Flacco threw two touchdowns to win against both the Panthers and Salukis, but went on to lose in the championship game to the Appalachian State Mountaineers 49–21.
Flacco set 20 school records during his career at Delaware.
In early September 2009, a 20- by 30-foot poster of Flacco was added to the facade of Delaware Stadium.
2008 NFL Draft
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 6⅜ in||236 lb||4.84 s||1.62 s||2.79 s||4.27 s||6.82 s||28½ in||9 ft 2 in||27|
|All values from the NFL Combine|
At Delaware, Flacco was pessimistic about his chances to play in the NFL, and after his junior year asked his coach for permission to play baseball. The coach predicted that he would be selected in the NFL Draft, surprising Flacco. With a solid showing at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, Flacco solidified himself as a top five quarterback in the 2008 NFL Draft. Flacco won the long distance throw competition in ESPN's State Farm College Football All-Star Challenge with a 74 yard throw, beating out Matt Ryan, Colt Brennan, Chad Henne, and John David Booty, later winning the Taco Bell Quarterback Scramble with a time of 15.72 seconds.
Members of the Baltimore Ravens' front office, having attended Flacco's workout at the Senior Bowl, were impressed by his ability to throw in rainy and windy conditions. Flacco again impressed the Ravens' personnel in the poor weather conditions of his workout at Delaware, despite their low expectations given Delaware's small-school pedigree—Flacco performed the workout on an uncut, unlined field with his own footballs. Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta later stated the workouts left him confident Flacco could succeed in the late-season conditions in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Flacco was drafted by the Ravens 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft after the team traded out of the eight overall selection to the 26th, then up again. The selection made Flacco the highest drafted player ever from the University of Delaware. He was also the first Division 1 FCS (formerly 1-AA) quarterback selected in the first round of the draft since Steve McNair went third overall to the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft. Draft commentators initially criticized the pick as a "reach," feeling Flacco would likely have still been available in the middle of the second round. DeCosta, however, stated waiting was too much of a gamble and that choosing Flacco in the first round was "an easy decision to make."
On July 16, 2008, he signed a five-year contract with a maximum value of around $30 million, and $8.75 million guaranteed.
Due to a season-ending injury to incumbent starter Kyle Boller and an illness to former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Flacco became the starting quarterback in the 2008 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 15 of 29 passes for 129 yards, his longest pass being a 15-yard play to Derrick Mason. He threw no touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut, but he had a 38-yard rushing touchdown, which was the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in Ravens' franchise history. Flacco's touchdown put the Ravens up by 17–3; the team eventually won the game by 17–10. He led the Ravens to a 28–10 week 3 win over the Cleveland Browns despite a sub-par performance going 13/19 for 129 yards and throwing 2 interceptions (the week 2 game with the Texans was postponed due to Hurricane Ike).
In a week 4 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Flacco played his first road game, his first Monday Night Football game and also threw his first professional touchdown pass on a three yard corner to tight end Daniel Wilcox. However, the team still lost the game 23-20 as the young QB was sacked five times and lost a fumble. In Week 5, the Ravens lost 13-10 to the Titans with Flacco's futility continuing going 18/27 for 153 yards but throwing two interceptions in the loss. His stats got even worse in Week 6 in a 31-3 loss at the Colts as he went 28/38 for 241 yards in his first professional 200 yard or more passing game but in the midst of things, he threw three interceptions. In a week 7 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Flacco earned his first career road victory, throwing for over 230 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Through week 7, Flacco also maintained a completion percentage of 64.2, the tenth best in the NFL.
In a week 8 win over the Oakland Raiders, Flacco not only passed for a touchdown but also ran for one. Flacco also caught a 43-yard pass in a trick formation deemed the "Wildcat". Many analysts viewed this and the last game as the potential launching point into a career of success. After the week 8 win, head coach John Harbaugh announced that the "Suggs package", a two quarterback offense using Flacco and Troy Smith, would be part of the offense the rest of the season.
In a week 13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, for the Ravens' sixth win in their previous seven games. In that seven game stretch, he compiled a passer rating of 99.1, the best of any quarterbacks in that span.
In a week 16 win over the Dallas Cowboys, he was 17-for-25 throwing 149 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 96.9. In winning the game, he became the last quarterback to win at Texas Stadium as this was the last game ever played at Texas Stadium. This would also make him the second rookie quarterback ever to win at Texas Stadium, behind Ben Roethlisberger.
In week 17, Flacco had a new personal best, 297 yards. He was 17-of-23 for a quarterback rating of 115.8 as the Baltimore Ravens routed the Jacksonville Jaguars 27–7.
In his first season, Flacco was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, NFL Rookie of the week, the NFLPA Rookie of the week, and NFL Rookie of the Month for November.
Flacco finished his rookie season 257/428 for a career low 2,971 yards with a total of 16 touchdowns (14 passing, 2 rushing), and 14 turnovers (12 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles).
In the wild card round of the 2008–09 NFL playoffs, Flacco became only the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first post-season start, and the first to do it on the road, when his Ravens defeated the Dolphins, 27–9. Flacco completed 9-of-23 attempted passes, accumulating 135 yards without throwing a touchdown or interception. He also scored the victory-sealing rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw in the 4th quarter. Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Mark Sanchez are the only other rookie quarterbacks to ever win their debut playoff game.
He then won his second game versus the Tennessee Titans. Flacco led the Ravens to a 13–10 win in the divisional playoff round. Flacco made tight-window throws to Todd Heap and Mark Clayton on the go ahead scoring drive in the 4th quarter to set up a game winning field goal from Matt Stover. On the day Flacco was 11-of-22 for 148 yards and a touchdown, without turning the ball over for the second straight game. He is the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games.
Flacco made 13 of 30 pass attempts for 141 yards passing, was sacked three times, and intercepted three times in the 2009 AFC Championship Game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Flacco was awarded as the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year on January 29, 2009.
In the season opening game in Baltimore against the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Flacco led the Ravens to their first win of the season. He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs. He also threw one interception and had a quarterback rating of 95.8. During this game, the Ravens broke the franchise record for most offensive yards in a game with a total of 501.
In week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, Flacco threw for a career-high 342 yards and accumulated a quarterback rating of 111.8 He also threw for one touchdown. He then surpassed his own career high of 342 in week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings, with 385 passing yards, though Baltimore lost the game by two points.
In week 15 against the Chicago Bears, Flacco broke his personal record for most touchdowns thrown in a game with four, while notching 234 passing yards and completing 72 percent of his passes, earning him a career-high passer rating of 135.6. The Ravens would go on to win the game 31-7. With 3,613 yards and 21 touchdowns, Flacco became the first Ravens quarterback since Vinny Testaverde to throw for more than 3,000 yards and more than 20 touchdowns in a single season.
Flacco's injury limited his performance Wild Card Weekend against the Patriots. The Ravens routed the Patriots 33-14 despite Flacco throwing 4-10 for just 34 yards with one interception. The following week against the Colts, Flacco again performed poorly; thus, the Ravens lost 20-3.
In the season opener, Flacco and the Ravens opened New Meadowlands Stadium against the New York Jets. Flacco threw for 248-yards while completing 52.6% of his passes, and throwing one interception. In a defensive contest, the Ravens came away with the 10-9 win over their former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
In week two at the Cincinnati Bengals, Flacco had arguably his worst NFL start of his young career, throwing for 154-yards while completing just 43.6% of his passes and throwing a career high 4 interceptions, while throwing one touchdown and accumulating a passer rating of 23.8. Coming off of the worst start of his career, Flacco and the Ravens had their home opener against the Cleveland Browns. Flacco bounced back from his week 2 loss to the Bengals and had his best game of the young season, throwing for 262-yards and completing 71% of his passes. He then hooked up with prized offseason acquisition wide receiver Anquan Boldin for 3 touchdowns, while throwing no interceptions and accumulating a passer rating of 128.7. The Ravens would win the contest 24-17.
Going into week 4, Flacco had never won against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh was 3-0 boasting the league's best defense but without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger due to suspension. Late in the game on a fourth and 1 play, the Ravens called a fade pass to Boldin in the endzone but the pass was overthrown. The Steelers got the ball back with two minutes and forty seconds left but were not able to keep possession for the rest of the game. The Ravens got the ball back and Flacco embarked on the greatest drive of his young career. With 68 seconds left on the game clock, down 14-10, he drove the Ravens 40 yards down the field and threw the game winning 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Flacco threw for 256-yards and a touchdown, while completing 65% of his passes and achieving a passer rating of 82.7 in the victory. In a 2009 playoff rematch, the Ravens traveled to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. Flacco had a relatively good game throwing for 285-yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 77.1% of his passes and a passer rating of 119.3, but in a losing effort as the Patriots came back from losing 20-10 to win the game in overtime 23-20.
In week 7 the Ravens played the Buffalo Bills at home. To start the game, the Bills unexpectedly scored 2 touchdowns, putting the Ravens in a 14-0 hole. But Flacco responded by throwing for 250-yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Ravens eventually won the game 37-34 in overtime. In this game, Flacco tallied over 8,000 passing yards for his career.
In week 9 coming off a much needed bye week, Flacco and the Ravens took on the Miami Dolphins in Baltimore. The Dolphins were an undefeated 4-0 on the road that season and the Ravens were 3-0 at home. Flacco threw for 266-yards and 2 touchdowns and a passer rating of 129.6, posting his third straight 100-point passer rating of the season and fourth overall. The Ravens won the game 26-10.
In week 12 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Flacco threw his 53rd career touchdown pass, becoming the Ravens all time leader in passing touchdowns.
On December 26, 2010, with a win against the Cleveland Browns, Flacco became one of only four NFL quarterbacks to lead his team to the playoffs in all three of his first three seasons. During this game, Flacco threw for over 10,000 career passing yards.
Ending the season, Flacco set season highs in passing yards (3,622), passing touchdowns (25), passer rating (93.6), and a season low in interceptions (10).
In defeating the Kansas City Chiefs (30-7) in the wildcard round of the 2010–11 NFL playoffs, Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, for a post-season-high passer rating of 115.4. With the win, Flacco became the first quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons, and tied Len Dawson, Roger Staubach, Jake Delhomme, and Mark Sanchez for most career post-season road wins by a quarterback.
In the divisional round, Flacco and the Ravens would once again head to Pittsburgh to play their arch-rival Steelers. The difference this time would be the season was on the line. The Ravens got out to an early 21-7 lead after a 12-yard rush by running back Ray Rice, a fumble recovery run back for a touchdown by defensive end Cory Redding, and a four-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to tight end Todd Heap. But in the third quarter, which the Ravens had been dominant in all of the regular season, Baltimore fell apart. The Ravens turned the ball over 3 times in their own territory with an uncharacteristic fumble by Rice, an interception by Flacco, and a fumbled snap by Center Matt Birk, and with those the Steelers took a 31-24 lead. But even after all of the Ravens miscues and errors, the Ravens still had a shot to win it at the end when Flacco threw a dart to Houshmandzadeh, but it was dropped. Flacco finished the game 16 of 30 for 125-yards, one touchdown and one interception.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2012)|
Shortly after the end of the 2010 season, the Ravens fired quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, to Flacco's dismay. This was just the start of the drastic changes that would be made in the 2011 offseason. On July 28, 2011, Flacco's leading receiver over his three professional years Derrick Mason was cut to clear cap space. Additionally, 2010 #3 and #4 receivers T. J. Houshmandzadeh and Donté Stallworth were not re-signed, and longtime Ravens tight end Todd Heap was cut and signed by the Arizona Cardinals. Flacco was left with Anquan Boldin and recently drafted rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss sitting atop the wide receiver depth chart until the Ravens traded for Lee Evans, a speedy target to take advantage of Flacco's arm strength. Second-year tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta stepped in to replace the former Pro-Bowler Heap. Of the ten Ravens with a reception in the 2010-2011 season, only four returned for the 2011-2012 season, leaving Flacco with many new targets.
In the season opener, Flacco threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns while the Ravens beat the Steelers 35-7.
In week 2, Flacco threw for 192 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the Ravens first loss of the season against the Tennessee Titans.
In week 9 on Sunday night, Flacco was 28 of 47 in passing attempts while he threw for one touchdown and finished with 300 yards passing. Flacco drove 92 yards down the field and threw the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass to Smith to sweep the season series against the Steelers.
Flacco finished the season starting all 16 games. He had 312 completions off 542 attempts.(57.6%) He threw for 3610 yards, 20 TDs and 12 INTs. He average 225.6 yards per game and was sacked 31 times over the course of the season. He finished the season with an 80.9 QB rating.
In the divisional round, Flacco was 14 of 27 and threw for two touchdowns while the Ravens beat the Houston Texans 20-13. The Ravens advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 2008 (Flacco's rookie season).
In the AFC Championship Game, although Flacco completed 22 out of his 36 attempts while throwing for two touchdowns and one interception along with 306 yards passing, the Ravens lost 23-20 against the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots.
Over the course of the 2011 playoff run, Flacco accumulated 482 yards on 36 completions and 63 attempts (57%). He threw for 4 TDs and only 1 interception. In the divisional game he had a 51.9 completion percentage and a QB rating of 97.1. In the Championship game Flacco finished with a 61.1 completion percentage and a QB rating of 95.4.
2012 season: Super Bowl MVP
Despite Flacco's success—the Ravens were in the playoffs each of his first four seasons—few saw him as among the NFL's best quarterbacks. As of January 2013[update] he has never been selected for the Pro Bowl. In April 2012 Flacco was, as The New York Times later stated, "almost universally mocked" when he stated that he was the best quarterback in the NFL, superior to Brady, Peyton Manning, or Aaron Rodgers. "I don’t think I’d be very successful at my job if I didn’t feel that way", Flacco said. In July he turned down the Raven's offer of a new contract, reportedly for $16 million a year, telling his agent that he believed he could improve and earn more.
In Week 1, Flacco looked sharp going 21/29 for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 44-13 win at home against the Bengals on Monday Night Football.
In Week 2, Flacco went 22/42 for 232 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in a surprising 24-23 loss to the Eagles.
In Week 3 during a Sunday Night Football game, Flacco went 28/39 for 382, 3 touchdowns and an interception in a surprising 31-30 comeback win over the Patriots. This would be the first time ever the Ravens had defeated the Patriots in a regular season game.
In Week 4, Flacco went 28/46 for a season-high 356 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for a touchdown in a 23-16 win against the Browns.
In Week 5, the Ravens barely survived a close game against a struggling Chiefs team. Despite the 9-6 win, Flacco went 13/27 for 187 yards and an interception.
In Week 6, Flacco went 17/26 for 234 yards and a touchdown as he led his team to a close 31-29 win at home against the Cowboys.
In Week 7, the Ravens traveled down to Houston to take on the Texans (whom they played in the 2011 season and in the playoffs). Flacco struggled going 21/43 for 147 yards, a touchdown but 2 costly interceptions in a 43-13 loss.
In Week 8, Flacco's stats looked semi-sharp during the Ravens' bye: 150/252 on pass attempts with 9 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and 18 sacks. Also, Flacco had a rushing touchdown and a lost fumble. Combined: 10 total touchdowns and 7 total turnovers.
In Week 9, a struggling Flacco traveled to Cleveland with his Ravens team for game 2 against the Browns. The Ravens were down 15-14 heading into the 4th quarter. Flacco was able to move the Ravens down the field on 2 drives to set up a total of 11 unanswered points for a 25-15 comeback win over the Browns. Flacco went 15/24 for 153 yards and a touchdown in the game. His record improved to 10-0 all time along with coach John Harbaugh against the Browns.
In Week 10, Flacco had a strong showing in a win over the Oakland Raiders, completing 21 of 33 passes for 341 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The following week, Flacco threw for only 164 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 13-10 win against the Steelers at Heinz Field. In another low-scoring win, this time against the San Diego Chargers, he went 30/51 for 355 yards, including a short pass to Ray Rice, who broke numerous tackles to a turn a critical fourth-and-29 into a highlight reel conversion.
The Ravens had amassed a 9-2 record. However, Flacco played poorly again in a Week 12 rematch with the Steelers, completing only 16 of 34 passes for 188 yards with one touchdown and an interception. The game saw the Ravens squander a ten-point lead and lose 20-23, despite their division rival starting backup Charlie Batch at quarterback. The following week against the Washington Redskins, Flacco went 16-of-21 with three touchdowns but again amassed less than 200 passing yards in the season's first back-to-back losses. With the offense remaining inconsistent and the team missing opportunities to win their division with each loss, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was unexpectedly fired and replaced by quarterbacks coach - and former Indianapolis Colts head coach - Jim Caldwell. The change at coordinator was followed by a lopsided loss to the Denver Broncos, leading to widespread criticism of Flacco in the media.
Flacco and the Ravens responded with a decisive, 33-14 win over the defending Super Bowl-champion New York Giants in which Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns. With the division finally clinched, the team rested many starters in the regular season finale, a loss to the Bengals.
Despite the victory over New York, much of the local and national media wrote the team off as Super Bowl contenders, with ESPN writing that the team had "backed into the playoffs with a disastrous December."
On January 6, 2013, in the Wild Card Playoffs round against the Indianapolis Colts, Flacco finished the game 12 of 23 for 282 yards, two touchdowns, and a career postseason high 125.6 passer rating. The 24-9 win at home set up a Divisional round rematch with the Broncos, who entered the game as nine-point favorites after their regular season win over the Ravens, which included a 98-yard interception touchdown return by Broncos' cornerback Chris Harris that marked the lowest point of Flacco's season. Continuing his postseason success, Flacco played one of the best games in his career, throwing for 331 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the 4th quarter, the Ravens were down 35-28 and had one last chance to tie the game. After an incomplete pass and a 7-yard scramble, on 3rd down and 3, Flacco heaved a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, sending the game into overtime. The pass has been called the "Mile High Miracle", and "one of the greatest plays in NFL history" and drew comparisons to Roger Staubach's "Hail Mary", Terry Bradshaw's "Immaculate Reception", and Joe Montana's "The Catch". The Ravens would go on to win the game in double overtime 38-35 after an interception by Corey Graham from Peyton Manning and a 47-yard field goal from Justin Tucker, sending the Ravens to face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship for a second straight year.
On January 20, 2013, Flacco and the Ravens avenged the previous year's AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots with a 28-13 win, securing their spot in the 2013 Super Bowl. Flacco threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns, notching his third straight game with a passer rating over 100.
In a 34-31 win over the favored San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, played on February 3, 2013, Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and another three touchdowns, tying him for first place on the list of most consecutive playoff games with at least three touchdown passes (3 games). With a record fourth playoff game with a 100+ passer rating in a single postseason, Flacco was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Flacco finished the postseason having completed 73-of-126 (57.9 percent) passes for 1,140 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions, tying Montana and Kurt Warner for the most touchdowns in a single postseason and additionally tying Montana for the most touchdowns without an interception in a single postseason. Flacco's 117.2 passer rating tied him for third place all-time with Steve Young in a Super Bowl-winning postseason.
These accomplishments gave Flacco what The New York Times stated "might be the best start to a player’s free agency in the history of professional sports", as his contract expired after the season.
On March 4, 2013, Flacco became the highest paid quarterback in NFL history when he signed a six-year contract worth $120.6 million. However, within months, he was surpassed by the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Falcons' Matt Ryan.
Flacco was ranked #19 on the NFL's annual Top 100 Players list heading into the season. In the presentation, several defensive players attested to Flacco's ability to deliver throws under heavy pressure, and his tendency to step up in big moments.
In the regular season opener Flacco faced off against the Broncos in what would be a rematch of last year's AFC Divisional Playoff game. Flacco threw his first touchdown of the season on a two-yard pass to Vonta Leach to take a 7-0 lead, but the Ravens ended up losing the game 49-27. He completed 34 of 62 passes for 362 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, beginning his season 0-1 for the first time. In week 4, Flacco threw a career-high five interceptions against the Buffalo Bills in a loss, dropping the Ravens to 2-2. This resulted in a first place tie between the Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns, who shared at least first place for the first time since 2007. The Ravens went on to beat the Dolphins but found themselves losing three in a row to the Packers, Steelers, and Browns (his first career loss to Cleveland). Against Cincinnati, Flacco completed 20 out of 36 passes with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions in a 20-17 win decided in overtime. In week 11, Flacco threw two costly interceptions against the Bears and lost the game in overtime 23-20. Flacco threw his first deep touchdown of the season when he hit Jacoby Jones for a 66-yard score in a 19-3 victory over the New York Jets. He then threw for 251 yards and a touchdown on Thanksgiving against the Steelers, winning 22-20.
On October 12, 2014 in the Ravens' sixth game of the season, Flacco set a modern NFL record by throwing five touchdown passes faster than any other QB in league history, four of them in the 1st quarter. It took him only 16:03, just over one minute into the 2nd quarter, to do so, leading the Ravens to a 48-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- First rookie quarterback to start all sixteen games and make the playoffs (shared with Matt Ryan)
- First rookie quarterback to win two playoff games
- Most starts by a quarterback in first season: 19
- Most starts by a quarterback in first two seasons: 37
- Most starts by a quarterback in first three seasons: 55
- Most starts by a quarterback in first four seasons: 73
- Most starts by a quarterback in first five seasons: 93
- Most starts by a quarterback in first six seasons: 109
- Most wins by a quarterback in first six seasons: 62 (regular season only)
- Most combined regular and postseason wins in first three years as a quarterback: 36 (tied with Dan Marino)
- Only quarterback to start and win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons
- Most road playoff wins by a quarterback: 6
- Most playoff wins by a quarterback in first five seasons: 9 (tied with Tom Brady)
- Most touchdowns in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana and Kurt Warner)
- Most touchdowns without an interception in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana)
- First quarterback to have a passer rating over 100 in all four games of a single postseason
- Most consecutive playoff games with three passing touchdowns: 3 (tied with Bernie Kosar, Kurt Warner, and Aaron Rodgers)
- Faster quarterback to record 5 touchdowns in a game: 16 minutes 3 seconds.
Ravens franchise records
- Most Consecutive Starts by a quarterback - 100
- Most Career Passing Yards - 21,545
- Most Career Pass Attempts - 3,103
- Most Pass Attempts in a Single Season - 614 (2013)
- Most Career Pass Completions - 1,869
- Most Pass Completions in a Single Season - 362 (2013)
- Most Career Passing Touchdowns - 121
- Most regular season wins - 62
- Most postseason wins - 9
- Most consecutive pass completions: 14 vs. Denver Broncos (November 1, 2009)
- Most passing yards in a playoff game (331 in 2013 vs Denver Broncos)
- Most 3,000 passing yard seasons, career - 5
- Most consecutive seasons, 3,000 yards passing – 5 (2009-2013)
- Most 300+ Passing yard games in career by a starting QB - 16
- Highest completion percentage, career - 60.2%
- Highest completion percentage in a single season - 63.1% (2009) (in 16 starts)
- Highest Quarterback Rating, Career - 83.7
- Highest single season quarterback rating — 93.6 (2010)
- Most Times Sacked in a career for Starting QB - 222
- Fewest interceptions in a regular season by starting QB — 4 (2012) (16 starts)
- Most career 4th quarter comeback wins - 12
- Most 4th quarter comeback wins in a single season - 4 (2012)
- Most career game winning drives - 19
- Most game winning drives in a single season - 4 (2010) (Tied with Elvis Grbac)
Flacco married Dana Grady on June 25, 2011. He and his wife have two sons: Stephen Vincent, born June 14, 2012; and Daniel, born September 15, 2013, about an hour before the start of the Ravens' home opener.
Flacco signed a three-year contract with Reebok as a rookie in 2008. In 2009-2010, Flacco was a spokesperson for Pizza Hut, which sold a product called "Flacco's Favorites". Flacco has also endorsed Nike and 1st Mariner Bank, as well as Haribo since January 2013. Also in 2013, Flacco signed an endorsement deal with McDonald's to promote their new menu item, the Mighty Wings.
Flacco has also embraced the Baltimore area with his charitable organization.
Flacco's brother, Mike Flacco, was selected in the 31st round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, and was the starting first baseman for the Frederick Keys, who went on to win the 2011 Carolina League championship. He hit for a .250 average, with 5 HRs and 22 RBIs in 50 games with the Keys. The Orioles traded him to the Boston Red Sox on March 15, 2013, and rather than accepting the assignment, Flacco decided to retire from baseball. He has since enrolled at the University of New Haven to play football as a tight end, and has declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Another brother, John, is a walk-on receiver with the Stanford Cardinal football team, and a legend among the United States Corps of Cadets for his performance at the 2013 Stanford vs. Army football game.
- McIntyre, Brian (March 1, 2013). "Ravens, Joe Flacco agree to terms on contract extension". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Rosenthal, Gregg (July 3, 2012). "Ron Jaworksi: Joe Flacco has strongest arm in NFL". National Football League. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joe Flacco.|
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • ESPN • Yahoo! Sports • SI.com • Pro-Football-Reference • Rotoworld
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