The Cleveland Browns are officially Joe Flacco's team.
"Played well, I think you expect him to get better as he gets more comfortable in our system with our players, those type of things," he said. "We just talked about him and all of our guys doing their job, giving us their best and I thought that's what he did."
The quarterback went 26 of 45 for 311 yards with three touchdowns and an interception as Cleveland stayed alive in the playoff hunt. It's Flacco's first 300-yard game since Sept. 18 last year when he led the New York Jets to a 31-30 win over the Browns. He started four games for New York last season, but was watching the NFL from home until he joined Cleveland's practice squad last month.
On Sunday facing fourth-and-three in the fourth quarter, Flacco, 38, showed his expertise when he found David Bell for a 41-yard touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2023
"Coming up with words about how this feels, I'm not going to do a good job of that," Flacco told reporters after the game. "There's so many different things that are running through my head. It's unbelievable to be out there. It's a really unique experience. I can't say enough to have children that are of the age where they understand what's going on. I'm gonna remember these things forever."
Cleveland signed Flacco off the couch when Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. He was elevated to the active roster after Dorian Thompson-Robinson went into concussion protocol after a 29-12 Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos.
The veteran got his first start in Week 13, a 36-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and completed 23 of 44 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was the Browns' fourth starting quarterback this season.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 10, 2023
This is Flacco's 16th season in the NFL. He spent his first 11 years with the Baltimore Ravens, who took him with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2008 draft after he broke records at Delaware. The franchise's leading passer led the Ravens to a win in Super Bowl 47 and was named the game's MVP. He spent a season with the Denver Broncos and three with the Jets before joining the Browns this fall.
"A player that's been around and has had the career that he's had, he can really lean on his experiences, lean on his games that he's played, the different systems he's been in," Stefanski said. "And he just told that to the football team, some of the things that he's been through and now we as a team have been through, it is good for you in the end."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Flacco named Cleveland Browns starting QB for rest of season