The Baltimore Ravens come into Week 15 hanging on to the final playoff spot in the AFC by the slimmest of margins.
Baltimore, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Miami all sit at 7-6 with three games remaining. The Ravens hold the tiebreaker by virtue of win percentage in common and conference games. With the resurgent Cleveland Browns lurking just a game behind at 6-7-1, the Ravens can’t afford a let up today against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson gets the start once again Sunday with Joe Flacco slated as the backup.
Having won three out of four and a play or two away from a win last week in Kansas City, the Ravens are counting on riding the momentum Jackson has sparked to earn a very important win today at M&T Bank Stadium to stay in the drivers seat for a playoff berth. And with division leader Pittsburgh all of a sudden hitting a bump in the road of their season, and facing the New England Patriots later today, the Ravens have a chance to take the lead in the division, something that was unthinkable a few weeks ago.
None of these scenarios will matter if business is not taken care of today against Tampa Bay. The coaching staff has put their trust in Jackson, and now he must respond by leading the team to victory in must-win games.
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A new era kicks off in Baltimore, Md., Sunday when Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens as QB1 with Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco as the healthy backup.
Now that the "who's going to be the team's starter?" question is answered, for now, the next big question is what does Flacco's future hold?
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Ravens are expected to move on from Flacco in the offseason.
This news shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Even before Jackson took over the reins, questions on whether or not Flacco would be with the team in 2019 were being tossed around. Flacco is set to make $18.5 million next year and the team would incur $16 million of dead money moving on from him.
When asked on whether or not he's contemplated his future now that he's their No. 2 QB, Flacco had this to say,
“There’s plenty of time for that. Obviously, I think it’s only natural for people to talk to you about that and all that stuff. There’s plenty of time for that. There are plenty of months in the NFL offseason to think about what it’s going to mean and all that. But for now, like I said, I’m excited about what I can do and how I can help this group out.”
A lot could change for Flacco over the next three weeks as the Ravens chase January football.
Rapoport is also reporting that trading Flacco to a team of his choice is a possibility after leading the team for 11 seasons and a Super Bowl win. Whether his future is in Baltimore or not, plenty of NFL team's would kill to have a veteran quarterback of his caliber.
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