How Flacco can make history vs. Pats with Darnold doubtful


It appears the New England Patriots will face a familiar foe on Monday night.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold didn't practice Saturday as he recovers from a right shoulder injury and is doubtful for New York's game against the Patriots, head coach Adam Gase told reporters.

That means 35-year-old backup Joe Flacco is likely to start for the Jets. Flacco has plenty of history with the Patriots: He's faced New England eight times in his career and beaten Bill Belichick and Co. three times, including twice in the playoffs with the Baltimore Ravens.

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Flacco is far removed from his Ravens heyday. He's completed just 51.9 percent of his passes for 397 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception in three games filling in for Darnold this season.

The 13-year pro can hit an important milestone with a pedestrian performance Monday night, though, as he trails Joe Montana by just 108 yards on the NFL's all-time passing list.

Flacco likely will need to exceed that number by a good margin to lead the 0-8 Jets to their first win. But don't count on the Patriots taking the once-elite QB lightly.

"Proven veteran quarterback, Super Bowl champion," Patriots defensive tackle Nick Thurman said Saturday of Flacco. "Got a lot of respect for him for what he’s done — 10-plus years in the league. Game-plan is the game-plan. We just have to execute."