AFC Notes: Joe Flacco, Mason Rudolph, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


Years ago, Browns QB Joe Flacco seemed to tap into a higher version of himself in a magical playoff run with the Ravens that culminated in a Super Bowl win. After Cleveland signed him off the couch earlier this season, Flacco has somehow tapped into an even better version. He’s been slinging the ball all over the field for the Browns and has topped 300 yards passing in four straight wins. Like any good quarterback, he deflected the credit to his teammates. 

“Playing quarterback has so much to do with the play caller, the offensive line, the running backs, the wide receivers all doing their job of getting open,” Flacco said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I threw a corner route to Elijah Moore last night for a touchdown. Imagine if he doesn’t get open there. Then it’s just another incomplete pass. All my job was to do was to hit him once he got open. Kevin [Stefanski] called the play. Obviously you have to be able to do that in the moment and just play football and make the most of those opportunities when they come up. But I mean, this position is reliant on everybody. I think the fact that this is, like, the ultimate team sport has kind of gotten away from us to a certain extent. Everybody wants everything to come down to one guy or two guys. It’s just not the case, man. That’s why this sport is so special. That’s why winning a game at this level is so special.”


Ravens OC Todd Monken commented on the team’s unusual offensive line rotation, with tackles Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses starting the game and then rotating with Patrick Mekari and Daniel Faalele, who provide depth from the bench.

“It is unusual, but that’s a credit to our personnel staff,” Monken said, via “Obviously, having that depth where you feel comfortable doing that. That’s been something that’s helped us with Morgan [Moses] and also Ronnie [Stanley] as they battle through some nagging things that have continued. It’s been a huge plus for us.”


Steelers QB Mason Rudolph is getting another opportunity as the starter in the Steel City and helped the team to a win over the Seahawks on Sunday after spending last season “riding the old pine” behind quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky.

“I didn’t get a start and never had an opportunity to jump in there, so I spent last year riding the old pine,” Rudolph said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “Thankfully I got a break and got an opportunity to lead this team. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do that the last couple of years.”

“There are probably a lot of quarterbacks that could’ve completed that one,” Rudolph added. “A lot of coaches and play callers are conservative and just want to run it out, but we have a very aggressive head coach.”

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