Flacco lost his starting job in 2018.
The Ravens took Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson with the second-to-last pick in the 2018 draft. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner had an intriguing combination of passing and running that signaled a new direction for the Ravens. Flacco still had some gas in the tank so the pick was viewed in much the same way Patrick Mahomes was set to develop behind Alex Smith in Kansas City.
Nine games into the season with the Ravens struggling and looking for a spark, Ravens coach John Harbaugh inserted Jackson into the starting lineup where he remained until the Ravens bowed in the first round of the playoffs.
Baltimore lost to the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the playoffs with Jackson putting up a dismal performance in the first half. As bad as it got, Harbaugh states he never considered replacing Jackson with Flacco. That in itself tells us much of what we need to know regarding Flacco’s fall from the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.
He’s become timid, his arm strength is waning, without a deep threat he seems vulnerable and indecisive. We’ve seen firsthand in Denver when the magic leaves a QB, it is not a pretty sight. Think of Brett Favre‘s final season with the Jets and the embarrassment that was.
Flacco’s inglorious end in Baltimore doesn’t appear to be a case of a guy that just needs a fresh look. He’s had the same coach and players around him for a decent amount of time. Hard to imagine he’s suffering from a confidence issue or that his head is no longer in the game.
No, it’s likely what we’ve seen is the slow creep of time and punishment catch up with the 34 year old. It happens differently for different people but it happens all the same.
It is unclear what Flacco has left but what is clear is that the perception of the Broncos in disarray gains more traction with every bad move the front office makes: