The last time Joe Flacco ran out for a playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium, he was taking his first steps toward a Super Bowl MVP.
When Flacco takes the field against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, he’ll do so as the backup to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. He acknowledged that it’s still a strange feeling after he spent 10 ½ seasons as the Ravens’ unquestioned starter.
“It’s definitely not the most fun position in the world,” Flacco said Friday. “It is what it is.”
The Chargers game could also be Flacco’s last in Baltimore as a Raven. Jackson has emerged as the team’s quarterback of the present and future, and Flacco still wants to start for an NFL team. So most observers expect the Ravens to cut or trade their longtime quarterback in the offseason. The Ravens could host one more time in these playoffs, but only if they and the Indianapolis Colts both advance to the AFC Championship Game.
“I haven’t really thought too much about it, to be honest with you,” Flacco said. “We’re a No. 4 seed. There’s always a possibility that in the final round before the Super Bowl you can come back here. So, you never know.”
In 2008, he stood in Jackson’s shoes as a rookie starting an NFL playoff game. Flacco led the Ravens within one win of the Super Bowl that year.
“I just remember when I was going into it, everybody talked about how much different these games were,” he said when asked what advice he’d give Jackson. “The bottom line is they’re all football games and obviously there’s going to be a little bit different intensity to it. But, at some point, the game settles in and becomes a football game. That might happen the first series or it might take a little bit longer.”