Did Joe Flacco quietly underestimate his competition? The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback certainly didn’t show signs of aging in his performance against the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Statistically impressive, Flacco completed 19 of 29 passes for 309 yards and threw three touchdowns in the decisive 37-20 victory.
Despite his standout numbers, there was a viral moment that suggested the 38-year-old Flacco might be succumbing to the effects of time. In the third quarter, after surpassing 300 yards for the fourth consecutive game, a scene unfolded depicting a fatigued veteran seemingly ready to call it a night.
At 10:25 p.m. ET, inside the Browns’ home venue, Flacco was caught dozing off, sparking immediate amusement among fans on social media.
“Someone hand this man a pillow,” quipped one fan on social media.
While some speculated that Flacco might be playfully “flexing” on his competition, particularly his former team, the Jets, others empathized with the veteran quarterback’s apparent fatigue.
“I’m old and fall asleep at random times too,” a sympathetic fan shared.
Flacco’s drowsy demeanor became a source of humor for fans, with comments like, “He says it’s my relaxation time,” and jests about him throwing for 300+ yards in his sleep.
However, despite the lighthearted banter, Flacco managed to finish the game, securing the Browns a playoff berth. When asked about his momentary lapse, he jokingly acknowledged, “I guess our offense was boring me a little bit,” adding that his eyes were, in fact, still open during that time.
In moments when Flacco was wide awake, he showcased his quarterback prowess, connecting with players like Jerome Ford and demonstrating his finesse with passes to David Njoku. Despite nearing his 40s, Flacco exhibited his ability to escape pressure and convert it into valuable points.
Flacco, who started the year on the couch before joining the Browns in November, admitted to having mixed emotions about retirement or a comeback. Reflecting on his return to the field, he shared, “At some point in my life, I felt like I was going to be done with it for the rest of my life. But I also felt the feeling of being inside a locker room.”
Adding to his achievements, Flacco reached 13 touchdown passes in the month of December, tying the career touchdown throws of Browns rival Kenny Pickett with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, with renewed energy and a playoff berth secured, Flacco looks forward to the postseason, marking his first playoff run since the 2018 season with the Baltimore Ravens. Excited about the team’s prospects, he exclaimed, “We’ve got a good team, man. It’s going to be exciting.”