New York Jets QB Joe Flacco has plenty of past experience with a few of his new teammates on the offensive side of the ball.
Each NFL team is currently facing the unprecedented challenge of preparing for a season without any on-field practice time – and absolutely no hint as to when things may return to normal.
Camaraderie and chemistry have always been tremendous advantages in the game of football, but those two traits are only going to become substantially more essential in the league’s current climate.
Luckily for newly-signed Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (one-year, $4.5 million), he has plenty of experience playing alongside a few offensive pieces that he will be taking the field with in New York.
Over his eight starts with the Broncos this past season, Flacco took each and every one of his snaps from Connor McGovern, whom the Jets inked to a three-year, $27 million deal to anchor the interior offensive line.
Running back Kenneth Dixon took handoffs from Flacco as a member of the Ravens from 2016-18. Dixon averaged a sublime 4.8 yards per carry in Baltimore, gaining 715 yards on 148 carries over 18 appearances in 2016 and 2018 (he missed the 2017 and 2019 seasons). Dixon will scratch and claw for a roster spot against Trenton Cannon and Josh Adams.
Finally, Flacco threw passes to wide receiver Breshad Perriman – Baltimore’s 2015 first-round pick – from 2015-17. Perriman was the first skill position player taken by Baltimore in the first round since Flacco himself back in 2008.
The young Perriman had a tough time getting on the same page with Flacco from 2016-17 after missing his 2015 rookie season. When targeting Perriman, Flacco completed 43 of 98 passes for 576 yards, three touchdowns, and five interceptions (52.1 passer rating).
Nevertheless, Perriman has grown considerably as a player since then. He ranked second in the NFL with 506 receiving yards in December of 2019.
The backup quarterback spot behind Darnold was a crucial area of weakness. Over six games without their franchise quarterback since 2018, the Jets are 0-6 with an average of 8.0 points per game on offense.
Flacco’s days of solidity as a starter are far behind him – he has not had an above-average passer rating since 2014 – but he is certainly talented enough to be one of the best insurance plans in the league. He averaged a respectable 7.0 yards per attempt with the Broncos in 2019, which ranked 26th out of 53 quarterbacks to throw at least 50 passes.
With 171 regular season starts (98-73 record), 15 playoff starts (10-5 record), and four familiar faces to join on offense, Flacco is poised to weather the unusual circumstances and smoothly transition into becoming a reliable QB2 for the Jets.