Vinny Testaverde, Joe Flacco
Vinny Testaverde, Joe Flacco, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Joe Flacco is just 41 completions away from passing Vinny Testaverde on the big-boy quarterback list.

On Sunday, New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco will make his first start of the season.

In October, The Jets acquired Flacco for a conditional 2022 sixth-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles. The dealt selection can turn into a fifth if the veteran plays 50 percent of his new team’s snaps in four games this season.

Now back with the Jets after less than a year apart, the 36-year old is climbing to the top in nearly every NFL all-time passing statistic. With just 41 more completions, Flacco would pass one of the best gunslingers in franchise history on the all-time list, Vinny Testaverde.

Testaverde played 21 seasons in the NFL, seven of them in New York. He also had stints in Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas and New England.

In his first season with the Jets, Testaverde made his second Pro Bowl team at 35 years old after leading the Jets to a 12-4 record and an AFC championship game appearance. Currently, he sits 16th all-time on the NFL’s career completions list with 3,787 (1,094 with the Jets).

Flacco, on the other hand, is in his 14th season in the NFL. A long-time Baltimore Ravens employee, Flacco started eight games for Denver in 2019 before signing with the Jets as a backup in the 2020 offseason.

When quarterback Sam Darnold went down with an injury, Flacco stepped into the starting role. Despite his 0-4 record, Flacco did his job with what he had.

After a miserable 2020 season, Flacco opted to sign with the Eagles as their backup despite an offer to stay in New York. Flacco appeared in zero games as an Eagle before the October trade that sent him in a northeastern direction.

When Jets general manager Joe Douglas traded for the veteran quarterback, it was with the potential expectation that he would start in the wake of Zach Wilson‘s absence. When Mike White lit the world on fire in his dominant win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween, doubts entered many fans’ minds over whether or not Flacco would even get the chance to play.

White followed that up by laying an egg in his performance against the Buffalo Bills this past weekend, so the coaching staff made the decision to go forward with Flacco as the starter as Wilson continues to work back from injury.

Flacco will make his first start this weekend against the Miami Dolphins, as head coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday. As Flacco nears the end of his playing days, these starts will give him a chance to finish higher on some all-time career passing lists.

Sitting at 3,747 completions, Flacco is only 40 completions from Testaverde. Though that mark of completions in a game seems like a stretch, if Flacco gets the chance to start a second game after this weekend, it’s absolutely within reach.

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